Sunday, November 06, 2005

Couldn't they just be blue? The Evolution of Transparency.


Why are there so many transparent deep sea creatures?
Is transparency better for camouflage when there's so little light at those depths anyway?
How much better is being transparent than being black?... (particularly when you're not hiding in front of anything in particular).
How do cells and tissues avoid making pigmented proteins? (e.g. Haemoglobin)
Why are there no transparent land animals?
All these questions and more are answered here... http://www.cephdev.utmb.edu/refdb/pdf/7568.pdf
Interestingly, it appears some predators have evolved UV vision (under which transparent prey becomes visible!).

1 comment:

  1. Why not ? Evolution is based on there being diversity. Transparent is part of the spectrum.
    If being transparent is no disadvantage, then, there should be transparent creatures in the depths. Only if it is DIS-advantageous would there be fewer transparent animals!
    Not enough Hb to see as "red"; but still there ?
    In land animals - you mean at sea level or above right?
    So jellyfish; paramecia, cave-fish are three.
    At sea level, if you have "eyes" -that need to work (so cave fish may be an example of reversion...not adaptation; you will need pigment. Or vice versa....
    Cool to acknowledge that diversity is the starting point for discussion here. It is dangerous to lean towards a teleological argument in evolution.

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Whaddaya think?