Our world is full of some amazing creatures and while some how found it advantageous to bear bright and brilliant colors, others have found the best skin to be transparent! Animals from the deepest oceans to the greenest jungles have all survived with a skin that seems to defy logic, and here they are:
With several thousand known species of jellyfish, these free-swimming organisms make up the entire phylum of Cnidaria and all its subsequent classes and families. Jellyfish are found in all the world’s waters, from the deepest oceans to the shallowest seas and even in some freshwater estuaries. Some jellyfish are so transparent that they cannot even be seen by naked eye, although most have some pigmentation of color that make them visible.
Known by several names including the icefish, these tiny fish live in the cold waters surrounding the continental shelf of Antarctica. There are many species and subspecies of icefish, but they all share the same distinct, transparent body. This is because the waters are so cold that their blood does not contain several of the chemicals that transport oxygen throughout the body; instead these fish breathe directly through their skin. This gives them a great advantage because they no longer have to metabolize oxygen and deliver it to the body, but they have subsequently lost all color in their body except for a faint pinkish glow still rendered by their internal organs.
Genetically Modified Zebrafish:
Genetically altered Zebrafish can be both transparent and glow-in-the-dark now!
Like many fish species, when zebrafish are first born, their bodies are transparent and as they mature they begin to pigment. Scientists have recently been able to modify the genetic structure of zebrafish and keep their bodies transparent for their entire lives. This allows them to better study the progress of several diseases that can strike attack the internal organs of many fish species. Further genetic alterations of zebrafish has also produced the ‘glofish’ which researchers boast can glow in the dark thanks to special genetic modification.
With more than sixty species of glass squid, the squid family Cranchiidae makes up one of the species largest groups of organisms. Named for their mostly transparent bodies, these squid can range in size from a few inches long to several feet. Their mostly transparent bodies make them harder to see in the water, making it easier for them to ambush small fish and crustaceans while avoiding much larger predators from deeper waters.
Sometimes called the Glass wing Butterfly, Greta Oto is an American butterfly, found from Mexico to Panama that is well known for its transparent, glass-like wings. These ornately detailed insects have a wingspan of about 2.3 inches when fully matured and avoid predation by producing a toxic chemicals from the time they are a caterpillar that keeps predators at a distance, allowing them to exist in relative stability.
This next fish has gotten a lot of press on GreenAnswers recently and for good reason. The bizzare-looking Barreleye fish lies in wait, scanning the water above for the silhouette of their next meal with their huge transparent tube-shaped eyes which scientists believe are used to magnify the little light that reaches the ocean depths by hundreds of times to allow the fish to see better in the dark abyss.
Glass frogs usually appear to have a lime green hue, but they’re skin is transparent.
Glass frogs are a common name for the many species frog that belong to the amphibian family Centrolenidae. Glass frogs are found throughout the dense tropical jungles of Central and South America and come in many shapes and colors, but all share the same common, translucent or transparent skin. Most glass frogs actually appear to have a lime green tint to them with the heart, digestive tract and other organs clearly visible under their clearly transparent skin.
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