Friday, February 18, 2011

Transparent animals

Glass Frogs belong to the amphibian family Centrolenidae (order Anura). While the general background coloration of most glass frogs is primarily lime green, the abdominal skin of some members of this family is transparent, so that the heart, liver, and digestive tract are visible through their translucent skin.

Found in Central America, from Mexico to Panama , the Glasswing Butterfly (Greta Oto) is a brush-footed butterfly where its wings are transparent. The tissue between the veins of its wings looks like glass.

This see-through zebrafish was created in 2008 by scientists so they can study disease processes, including the spread of cancer. The transparent fish are allowing researchers at Children's Hospital Boston to directly view fish's internal organs and observe processes such as tumor growth in real-time in living organism.

Found on the southern hemisphere's oceans, the Glass Squid (Teuthowenia pellucida) has light organs on its eyes and possesses the ability to roll into a ball, like an aquatic hedgehog. It is prey of many deep-sea fish (eg goblin sharks) as well as whales and oceanic seabirds. 

Jellyfish are free-swimming members of the phylum Cnidaria. They are found in every ocean, from the surface to the deep sea. Many jellies are so transparent that they are almost impossible to see. The one above is from the Arctapodema genus, with a size of an inch-long (2.5-centimeter- long).
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