Rare views of the deep-sea fish called a barreleye reveal that the fish has a transparent bulge at the front of its head, one that resembles a helicopter’s bubble window.
Earlier, researchers had missed the structure when investigating damaged specimens hauled to the surface. Now the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California has released images from a study of five intact barreleyes (Macropinna microstoma) observed at their native depths with a remotely operated vehicle or, in one case, brought to the surface whole.
Inside the fish windshield, rounded lenses that top the tubular eyes shine green in the photographer's light. (Two dots over the mouth are not eyes but olfactory structures.) Seeing the fish alive finally solved the question of how they cope with the restricted vision of the tubular eyes. The eyes can move to look overhead or forward. — Susan Milius
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