Why are some animals translucent? And how exactly does biological transparency work?

Transparency is an intriguing physical trait found throughout the animal kingdom, and in oceanic species, especially; as pointed out in this excellent overview of transparent animals by Scientific American's Sönke Johnsen, "almost all open ocean animals not otherwise protected by teeth, toxins, speed or small size… »9/18/12 6:40pm9/18/12 6:40pm


This otherworldly amphibian has a completely transparent underbelly

The cloud forests of South America are home to some of Earth's most extraordinary creatures, but few are as intriguing as the glassfrog. Seen from above, most glassfrog species look pretty nondescript, but a glimpse of their underbelly reveals a fascinating anatomical anomaly: translucent abdominal skin. From… »9/12/12 12:30pm9/12/12 12:30pm