Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Coolest fish ever

The world is full of surprises and this amazing fish is certainly one of them. This 6 inch wonder is called Macropinna microstoma and features a transparent head!

The fish, discovered alive in the deep water off California's central coast by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), is the first specimen of its kind to be found with its soft transparent dome intact.

Now, that small orifices in the front of the fish are not its eyes but a smelling organ. The barrel eyes are inside the green barrels and can be rotated inside the transparent head, giving this fish a quite wide visual range.

The barreleye lives about 2000 feet under the surface, where it just stays floating with the eyes looking upward, when a prey arrives they usually have to steal it from siphonophores (jellies that can grow to more than 33 feet). To make this feat it rotate its eyes and goes straight for its prey! Quite amazing.

Monday, February 09, 2009

The universe, yours to discover

As probably all of you know by now, 2009 is the "year of astronomy", a sort of celebration of the 400th anniversary of the first astronomical observations using a telescope by Galileo (of course it is arguable if he was the first to do it, nevermind).

Of course this blog will join this, so you may expect more posts here, it has been rather complicated posting to this site, it is always hard to grab some time specially since many posts that are intended to be just "quick posts" end up consuming a significant amount of time. It also seems to me that you can do lots of nice posts that will be quickly erased of everyones mind but you are always dangerously close to make some comment that might annoy someone, of course that will change when I get tenure!

Anyway, lets see how this year unfolds!