The transparent skin of the glass frog shows its internal organs. Getty Image Credit
Many creatures conceal their internal organs beneath multiple layers of skin, tissue, and bone. What if these layers could be seen through?
You may not see anything unusual when looking at a glass fowl from the top. If you flip the glass frog over, you will see a small, fast-beating, red heart, a long, narrow vein and a section that breaks down food. This amphibian has extremely thin and translucent skin.
Why did these frogs become transparent? According to a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, June 9, these frogs have thin skin that displays their internal anatomy. However, predators can see through their silhouettes when the light shines above them.
These frogs are found in Central and South America's rainforests and spend their time perched on leafy branches. The frogs' vibrant-green topcoats make them ideal for camouflage because they are surrounded with lush greenery. The study also found that predators are unable to see the outline of the frogs' bodies because they are more transparent than their legs.
Related: How many organs do you have in your body?
To lay eggs, some fig wasps have created long extensions to allow them to reach the fig. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons/Alandmanson
Wild relationships can often be forged in ways that are not expected. For example, fig wasps found a unique home within figs. Inflorescences are a collection of tiny flowers called fig fruit. They depend on the fig wasps to pollinate them. The fleshy inflorescence, which is a small bundle of tiny flowers, provides a safe and comfortable home for wasps during their short lives.
According to The Netherlands Entomological Society, female fig wasps are trained to sniff out receptive trees or flowers that are ready to pollinate when they hatch. According to the U.S. Forest Service, wasps instinctively seek out the specific aroma of female fig flowers. Once they have found a fig in-need, the wasps will dig into the soft, sweet flowers through the opening at the end. Many wasps are unable to reach the hole, and many of them lose their wings as well as parts of their antennas. The female wasps can lay their eggs once they have been inside the fig. The Journal of Nematology states that the wasps will never see the outside world again. After laying their eggs, the females die within 24 hours.
The male fig wasps hatch from figs and mate with their females. After laying eggs, they dig escape routes through the fig to the females. The tunnels are made by the male wasps, who live their whole lives inside the fig.
According to a 2005 article in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, this strange behavior has kept the wasp species alive over 60 million years. These insects are responsible for the continued existence of figs, since their movement between figs spreads their pollen.
3. Walking fish
The long, feathery extensions that come from the head of an axolotl's gills (an axolotl's gill) are called its scapula. Getty image credit
Mexican walking fish (Ambystoma mexicanum), also known as axolotls are unusual creatures. They can not only have a distinctive, spiky look, but they can also walk. They crawl through the swampy environment of Mexico City by pulling out four legs when they reach the bottom of a canal or lake.
They look like amphibians, even though they appear to be overdeveloped fish. Amphibians are often born with gills to allow them to breathe underwater. Once they reach adulthood, they will lose their gills and become ready for life on the land. According to Nature, axolotls retain their juvenile gills while remaining in the water. This phenomenon is called Neoteny.
Axolotls, which never leave the water, can be found near Mexico City in the lakes at Xochimilco. They can grow up to 12 inches (30 cm) in length and eat small insects, worms, and crustaceans. These grinning creatures used to be at the top end of the food chain. However, invasive fish species like tilapia or carp fish (which eat baby axolotls) and pollution threaten their survival.
4. Males who are pregnant
Male seahorses can become pregnant between 10 and 25 day. Image credit: Getty
The brunt of pregnancy doesn't always fall on the females. Scientific American states that seahorses, pipefish, and sea dragons are the ones who get pregnant in the Syngnathidae family. Seahorses, pipefish and sea dragons carry their young in brood pouches. The pouch tissue provides nutrients like energy-rich fats and other nutrients. However, sea dragon eggs stick to the outside of the male's tail.
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This arrangement has any benefits? According to National Geographic, seahorses can have babies in the morning and then conceive again at night because the females can concentrate on egg-making. This increases the chance of survival by increasing the species' numbers.
The males are more likely to carry the babies than the females, so the females will be less likely to run out of energy. According to Oxford Academic, usually, the females use more energy making eggs than they do producing sperm. The energy requirement can be shared more evenly by transferring egg-carrying tasks to males.
5. Parasitic mates
To attract prey and mates, female anglerfish use light made of bioluminescent bacteria to shine their light. Image credit: Science Photo Library
The appearances of male and female anglerfish can be so different that it might seem like they are two separate species. According to an article in the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists journal, the females can be up to 60x longer and half a mile heavier than their male counterparts. Scientists first saw the female anglerfish with their male companions and thought they were looking at a mother and her children.
Most images of anglerfish are of the females. Female anglerfish are found in deepest oceans like the Atlantic and Antarctic. They have large fangs that protrude from the corners of their mouths and light rods hanging from their faces.
The males arrive, making everything more bizarre. According to New Scientist, male anglerfish can act like a parasite when he mates with a female. The tiny male bites into the female to steal her nutrients and fuses their bodies. The male does not need to see or swim, so his eyes, fins, and other major organs start to deteriorate. He can get everything he needs with little effort. His only responsibility is to provide reproductive cells at the right time. Live Science reported that the male and the female then release their eggs and sperm into the water to fertilize.
Warm waters all over the globe are home to the immortal jellyfish. Image credit: Getty
Ever wish you could go back to your youth and start over? Our bodies are built to age, grow and eventually die. This cycle is not the same for all species. Turritopsis dohrnii, the immortal jellyfish, is here.
According to the American Museum of Natural History, the jellyfish can press the "reset button" when they are injured or starving. The jellyfish adult stage, which is a polyp, can be reset by pressing the "reset" button. The new polyp continues the life cycle, spawning many genetically identical medusas or the tentacled creatures that we call jellyfish. Scientists believe that immortal jellyfish perform this rejuvenating feat using a process called Transdifferentiation. AMNH explained that a specialized adult cell can become another type of specialized cell by this process.
Adults of this jellyfish measure less than 0.2 inches (5 m) in length at their largest. Although these jellyfish were first found in the Mediterranean Sea in 1883, they have been called the "immortal jellyfish" since the late 1990s. The bizarre phenomenon was discovered by a German student while he was studying them in a laboratory. According to The Biologist, published in the Royal Society of Biology, the jellyfish's medusa stage became stressed and fell to the bottom of the container. It then reverted to polyps without any fertilization or larval stages. Researchers described it as "a butterfly turning back into a caterpillar."
Researchers are now trying to understand how jellyfish live an everlasting life. According to The Biologist, "The Turritopsis Dohrnii genome is currently being studied and decoding it will lead to the search for an immortality switch'."
The continuous cycle
To reverse the process, these jellyfish show how to do it. To learn more, click the numbers below.