Barreleye Fish Facts, Size, Weight, Adaptations

Barreleyes, sometimes referred to as spook fish, are small size argentiniform fish that live in warm to temperate environments throughout the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. These fish acquire their name from their barrel-shaped, tubular eyes, which are usually pointed upwards to locate the silhouettes of possible prey, although they may also turn their eyes forward.

    Barreleye Fish Facts

    All species have huge, telescopic eyes that extend from the skull but are protected by a massive transparent shell of soft tissue. These eyes usually look upwards, but they can also look ahead. The opisthoproctid eye has a big lens and a retina with a large number of rod cells and a high concentration of rhodopsin (the "visual purple") pigment; there are no cone cells.

    The toothless mouth is short and narrow, with a sharp snout at the end. An epibranchial or crumenal organ is evident behind the fourth-gill arch, just as it is in similar families. Similar to the gizzard, this organ is comprised of a small diverticulum into which the gill rakers insert and interdigitate in order to grind up consumed content.

    In most species, the living body is a dark brown color and covered in large, silvery imbricate scales; however, in Dolichopteryx, these scales are absent, leaving the body itself a transparent white color. A varying number of dark melanophores color the muzzle, ventral surface, and midline in all species.

    Barreleye Fish Facts, Size, Weight, Adaptations

    Barreleye Fish Size

    The maximum size of Barreleye Fish is approximately 15 centimeters (6 inches). These deep-sea fish can see right through their own foreheads.

    Barreleye Fish weight

    They're ferocious hunters. Usually, they weigh between 400 to 800 pounds. The Barreleye is a tropical or temperate fish that can be found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans.

    Barreleye Fish Adaptations

    Although there are numerous adaptations for seeing in near-total darkness, the barreleye fish is one of the most bizarre creatures in this regard. The barreleye's olfactory organs are two little markings behind its face that glance up towards the top of its head, and its eyes are two luminous green orbs behind its face that gaze up towards the top of its head. MBARI researchers discovered that when the fish is feeding, it can rotate its eyes to the front to discover its food. Scientists previously thought the barreleye's vision was fixed, staring straight up.

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