Top Ten Transparent Animals

Top Ten Transparent Animals

Glass FrogInvisibility Cloak

       If you though camouflage was a stealthy, how about invisibility. Meet some of the most spectacular animals, giving us an inside look at how it all works.

  1. Glass Frog
    Glass FrogGlass Frog1Glass Frog2
    Native to Venezuela, the 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. (Photo by Heidi and Hans-Jurgen Koch)
    Links: Top Ten Venezuelan Attractions, Top Ten Frogs/Toads,
  2. Barreleye

           This bizarre deep-water fish called the Barreleye (Macropinna microstoma) has a transparent head and tubular eyes. It has extremely light-sensitive eyes that can rotate within his transparent, fluid-filled shield on its head, while the fish’s tubular eyes, well inside the head, are capped by bright green lenses. The eyes point upward (as shown here) when the fish is looking for food overhead. They point forward when the fish is feeding. The two spots above the fish’s mouth are not eyes: those are olfactory organs called nares, which are analogous to human nostrils. (Photo by MBARI)
    Links: Top 100 Fish,
  3. Glasswing Butterfly (Greta Oto)
    Glasswing ButterflyGlasswing Butterfly1Glasswing Butterfly2
           Found in Central America, from Mexico to Panama, the Glasswing Butterfly (Greta Oto) is a brush-footed butterfly whose wings are transparent.
    Links: Top Ten Butterflies,
  4. Glass Octopus

    Vitreledonella richardi, also known as the Glass Octopus, is an incirrate octopus. It is the sole representative of the genus Vitreledonella and of the family Vitreledonellidae. Vitreledonella is a transparent, gelatinous, and almost colorless meso- to bathypelagic octopod found worldwide in tropical and subtropical seas with a mantle length (ML) of up to 11 cm and a total length of up to 45 cm in adults. The upper three pairs of arms are subequal in length; in juveniles about as long as the mantle, in adults 2–3 times ML. The fourth, ventral pair is slightly shorter. Suckers are small, widely separated, and in a single series. In males, the left arm III is hectocotylized, with a spherical vesicle near the tip, but is not detachable. Eyes are nearly rectangular in shape as seen from the side. The radula is heterodont, also known as heteroglossan, in which the middle or rhachidian tooth is each array has mutlitple cusps and the lateral teeth are unicuspid. Vitreledonella is ovoviviparous. The female broods her eggs, of which there are hundreds, within the mantle cavity. Each egg measures about 4 mm in length. Newborn larvae have a ML of approximately 2.2 mm. Amphitretus and Bolitaena are two other transparent, gelatinous pelagic incirrate octopods. Both of these genera differ from Vitreledonella in that the right third arm is hectocotylized and the radula is ctenodont with comb-like individual teeth. The Telescope Octopus (Amphitretus pelagicus) is a species of pelagic octopus found in tropical regions of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is transparent, almost colorless and has 8 arms. It is the only octopus to have tubular eyes, hence its common name.
    Links: Top Ten Squid/Octopuses,,
  5. Glass Squid
    File:Cranchiidae sp.jpg
    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 (e.g. goblin sharks) as well as whales and oceanic seabirds.
    Links: Top Ten Squid/Octopus,
  6. Crocodile Icefish
    Crocodile Icefish
           Found in the cold waters around Antarctica and southern South America, the crocodile icefish (Channichthyidae) feed on krill, copepods, and other fish. Their blood is transparent because they have no hemoglobin and/or only defunct erythrocytes. Their metabolism relies only on the oxygen dissolved in the liquid blood, which is believed to be absorbed directly through the skin from the water. This works because water can dissolve the most oxygen when it is coldest. In five species, the gene for myoglobin in the muscles has also vanished, leaving them with white instead of pink hearts. (Photo by uwe kils)
    Links: Top 100 Fish,
  7. Salp
           This jellyfish-like animals known as Salps feed on small plants in the water called phytoplankton. They are transparent, barrel-shaped animals that can range from one to 10cm in length. (Photo by DM)
  8. Jellyfish (Box Jellyfish, Portuguese Man O’ War, Artic Comb Jellyfish)

           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).
    Links: Top Ten Jellyfish,
  9. Transparent Zebrafish (Created by Scientists)
    Transparent Zebrafish
           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 organisms. (Photo by LS)
    Links: Top 100 Fish,
  10. Phronima

            Called Phronima, this unusual animal is one of the many strange species recently found on an expedition to a deep-sea mountain range in the North Atlantic. In an ironic strategy for survival, this tiny shrimplike creature shows everything it has, inside and out, in an attempt to disappear. Many other small deep-sea creatures are transparent as well, or nearly so, to better camouflage themselves in their murky surroundings, scientists say.
  11. Larval Shrimp
    Larval Shrimp
           Found in the in the waters around Hawaii, this transparent larval shrimp piggybacks on an equally see-through jellyfish.
  12. Products: Transparent Kayak ($1,475)
    Transparent Kayak
           Constructed of transparent Lexan the Transparent Canoe/Kayak measures just over 11’ in length and is designed for comfort with a wide water displacement with lower deck seating (adjustable). Carrying two people (up to 425 lbs) in high visibility comfort, the see-through skiff won’t satisfy our hard-core enthusiasts, but the Transparent Canoe isn’t just novelty, the clear polycarbonate material is the same used in jet-fighter cockpit canopies and fastened to a lightweight anodized aluminum frame that keeps weight down to just 40 lbs, not included photo model. That makes this canoe lighter than many aluminum or wood canoes of similar size. Includes two double-headed paddles, water bailer, and two polyurethane flotation bags. If you live near Denver, CO you can save yourself the $125 delivery fee by picking it up yourself.
  13. Products: Invisibility Cloak
    Invisibility CloakInvisibility Cloak1Invisibility Cloak2
    Now this may not stop bullets, yet, but the invisibility cloak is far from just a fantasy. The cloak is currently being researched by a team of scientists led by Xiang Zhang at the Berkeley Research Center. “While metallic metamaterials have been successfully used to achieve invisibility cloaking at microwave frequencies, until now cloaking at optical frequencies, a key step towards achieving actual invisibility, has not been become publicly successful because the metal elements absorb too much light.”
    Links: Top 100 Gadgets, Emerging Technologies, Top Ten Emerging Material Sciences Technologies,,
  14. Links: Top 100 Animals,

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