Saturday, 30 June 2012

Elephant-Nosed Fish Has Funky Eyes, Too

An unusual eye structure helps the strange-looking elephantnose fish see in their dim and murky habitat, a new study suggests.

These fish live in muddy rivers in central and west Africa, which are full of plant matter, mud and gas bubbles, even when it's light out. Living in such murky waters, the fish uses its trunk-like mouth extension (from which it gets its name) to sense electrical currents created by other fish.

"They were thought to be blind until a few years ago," study researcher Andreas Reichenbach, of Leipzig University in Germany, told LiveScience. When researchers got around to looking in these fishes' eyes, "it was a little bit of a surprise because its retina was very unusual."

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