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Spookfish

March 19, 2009

Why do I feel all nerdy and worked up when I come across stuff like this? In an earlier life I would’ve said something like “Wow ! Look at God’s creation” but now I find myself asking – “Isn’t evolution cool ?”

 

Courtesy :bbc

Courtesy :bbc.co.uk

 

A Pacific fish known as ‘brownsnout spookfish’  Dolichopteryx longipes, which was caught for the first time in the Tonga Trench (near Fiji in Southern Pacific),  has been found to use mirrors to help it see in the murky ocean depths by focusing light into it’s eyes. [BBC reports

 

“In nearly 500 million years of vertebrate evolution, and many thousands of vertebrate species living and dead, this is the only one known to have solved the fundamental optical problem faced by all eyes – how to make an image – using a mirror,” said Professor Julian Partridge, of Bristol University

 

 

 

That means it is the only vertebrate which uses both reflection and refraction for it’s vision. Scientists are still working on the evolutionary details of such an arrangement but the advantage of having eyes like that seems to be pretty good especially for the conditions under which it lives.

 

While the animal appears to have four eyes, it technically has two, each of which is split into two connected parts.The spookfish needs one half to point upwards, to capture faint glimmers of light from the sea surface 1,000m above.

The other half, which looks like a bump on the side of the fish’s head, points downwards. These “diverticular” eyes are unique among all vertebrates in that they use a mirror to make the image.

Prof Partridge said: “Very little light penetrates beneath about 1,000m of water and like many other deep-sea fish, the spookfish is adapted to make the most of what little light there is. At these depths it is flashes of bioluminescent light from other animals that the spookfish are largely looking for.The diverticular eyes image these flashes, warning the spookfish of other animals that are active, and otherwise unseen, below its vulnerable belly.”

 

Wow !! Viva La Evolucion!

Btw, if you are still not tired of weird fishes. Here is another weird fish that PZ blogged about a while back.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. March 19, 2009 4:59 pm

    You suspect God. I suspect the world. Other than that, I am very much like you. My belief is that without a witness, there is no world. Heard of that Zen Buddhist question of tree falling in an uninhabited forest?

  2. nitwitnastik permalink*
    March 19, 2009 6:31 pm

    Thanks for your comment maald. I don’t suspect God simply because no one can suspect an entity which probably does not exist.

  3. March 19, 2009 7:18 pm

    Without you, nitwik, there is no world.

    • nitwitnastik permalink*
      March 19, 2009 7:29 pm

      Maybe not my world..but some world for someone..to say that world exists only for me and because of me is self-aggrandizing

  4. March 19, 2009 8:39 pm

    The ‘I’ in you and the ‘I’ in me are the same. Transcend that ego to know the real ‘I’.

    • nitwitnastik permalink
      March 19, 2009 8:51 pm

      LOL !! :-)where have I heard that before?

      The ‘I’ in you and the ‘I’ in me are the same.

      How did you know that..reading a book?

      Transcend that ego to know the real ‘I’.

      Have you?!! 😀 How does it feel transcending the ego and knowing the real ‘I’?

  5. March 19, 2009 11:46 pm

    I know my real “I”. Get laid as much as possible and make sure my genes are sustained in a vast pool of offspring’s so that at least one of them survives (remember all those bombings by bearded gentlemen) to sustain my race (genetic race) here. I evolved over the past 1.36 billion years to do this and I’m a tool of perfection in accomplishing this.

  6. March 20, 2009 12:53 am

    Sarah Palin wanted school children to be taught how the world was created. By God …I blogged about it here.
    http://lifeofanindianhomemaker.blogspot.com/2008/10/threats-and-revenge.html

    • nitwitnastik permalink*
      March 20, 2009 8:32 am

      @IHM

      That post is a little too old to comment so I am commenting here.

      You are right. Sarah Palin is as dumb as dumb can be. I was so happy that the american public chose wisely and showed Dubya’s female version the door. Anyone who believes in creationism, anyone who believes that victims of rape and incest should not be allowed abortion rights, anyone who speaks in strange tongues and believes that geographical proximity to russia makes her an expert in foreign policy should be booted out and that’s what’s happened.

  7. March 20, 2009 9:20 am

    Your NOT,
    “Wow ! Look at God’s creation”
    but,
    ”Isn’t evolution cool ?”
    reminded me of that post 🙂

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