A map puffer fish’s (arothron mappa) eye. (Photograph by Tim Laman; via National Geographic)
Eye of a Blue Ring Octopus (genus Hapalochlaena)
© Ivan Choong
The banded pipefish has a straight, elongated body which reaches a maximum length of 19 cm. It has fleshy streams coming back from its head, trailing sometimes metres behind the fish itself. These trails are thought to be mechanisms of camouflage for the pipefish whilst hiding in reeds. Similar to other seahorses and pipefish, the male banded pipefish is equipped with a specialized brood pouch, rather than the female. The female will deposit her eggs in the male’s pouch, where they will be developed. The male will later give birth
Above, the albino cyclops shark lies among other captured sharks. In addition to the one eye, albinism is a rare condition among sharks, occurring more often in bony fishes, Galván-Magaña said.
There are no previous known cases of albino dusky sharks, “so this report is considered a first record of this malformation for this shark species in Mexico,” according to the study.
Talk about a one-of-a-kind discovery—an extremely rare cyclops shark (pictured) has been confirmed in Mexico, new research shows.
The 22-inch-long (56-centimeter-long) fetus has a single, functioning eye at the front of its head—the hallmark of a congenital condition called cyclopia, which occurs in several animal species, including humans.
Earlier this year fisher Enrique Lucero León legally caught a pregnant dusky shark near Cerralvo Island (see map) in the Gulf of California. When León cut open his catch, he found the odd-looking male embryo along with its nine normal siblings. “He said, That’s incredible—wow,” said biologist Felipe Galván-Magaña, of the Interdisciplinary Center of Marine Sciences in La Paz, Mexico.
Once Galván-Magaña and colleague Marcela Bejarano-Álvarez heard about the discovery—which was put on Facebook—the team got León’s permission to borrow the shark for research. The scientists then x-rayed the fetus and reviewed previous research on cyclopia in other species to confirm that the find is indeed a cyclops shark.
Cyclops sharks have been documented by scientists a few times before, also as embryos, said Jim Gelsleichter, a shark biologist at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. The fact that none have been caught outside the womb suggests cyclops sharks don’t survive long in the wild.
Look at it’s eye! I love cowries. I used to wear a lot of cowrie jewellery, but then I found out that the shells are only in perfect condition because the cowrie is buried alive, or left to boil in it’s shell to kill it… Then there is the unforeseen upset to the balance of the ecosystem because of intense shell collection. *Sigh* You just can’t do anything these days.
Eye-to Eye Pipefish by Tony Wu.
This shot blows my mind.
Animals in captivity: Bird’s eye view
Nurse Shark by Karen Chen