pictures, Science

Sea Creatures of Uozu Aquarium – 3 – Glass Catfish

I recently visited the Uozu Aquarium in Toyama while searching for the Japanese Fireworms in Toyama Bay.  Here’s another sea creature I found there!

Day 3 – Glass Catfish – Kryptopterus bicirrhis

This is a small fish that lives in Borneo with a mostly-transparant body, except for its internal organs which are squished directly behind its brain.  Creepy!  I wonder how this species evolved transparency in response to environmental pressures?  Maybe it’s just harder to see for predators!

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Bioluminescence, pictures, Science

Sea Creatures of Uozu Aquarium – 1 – Pandalid Shrimp

I recently visited the Uozu Aquarium in Toyama while searching for the Japanese Fireworms in Toyama Bay. The aquarium staff were extremely helpful and hospitable, and our laboratory group had the chance to spend three leisurely hours exploring the aquarium.  I was able to take a lot of videos, so I plan on posting one per day here with short descriptions.

Day 1 – A Pandalid Shrimp

I’m not sure what this species is, but it is a pandalid shrimp – a species that is probably edible! These shrimps are found in cold waters, and aside from being delicious, are economically important.  Most pandalid shrimp start their lives as males, then become females later in life – a life strategy not uncommon in the ocean. Most species live between 3-5 years and can lay thousands of eggs in one season. Fried or fertilized?

Many Heterocarpus shrimp (a genus of pandalids) use bioluminescence to defend themselves by ejecting a blue glowing cloud into the surrounding water when disturbed.  This blue cloud gives the shrimps a chance to escape, like a squid’s ink cloud.

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