7 transparent animals found in nature

Transparent animals: A Fleishmann's glass frog. Photo by Thomas Marent/ARDEA/Caters News
Transparent animals: A Fleishmann’s glass frog, also known as a northern glass frog, is a small tree frog native to the cloud forests of Central and South America. Photo by Thomas Marent/Ardea/Caters News

In the animal kingdom, camouflage is an important trait for blending in to the surrounding habitat in order to hide from predators. For some, that means having bodies that are see-through.

Transparent animals featuring glass-like skin are found all over the world, from frogs to fish to butterflies, with most generally using their translucent skin as a means to avoid becoming prey.

Sea creatures that don’t have teeth, toxins, or the ability to speed away from predators will have some degree of invisibility, according to Sönke Johnsen, a scientist and writer for Scientific American quoted by MailOnline.

The amount of light that is able to pass through their bodies ranges from 20 to 90 percent, the MailOnline reported.

“Transparency is usually found in pelagic animals,” Caters News Agency reported. “The main advantage of being see-through in the open water is that it provides camouflage at all depths and from all angles.”

All transparent creatures generally make for extraordinary images. Caters collected a sampling taken by photographers from around the world.

The above Fleischmann’s glass frog is especially intriguing since the majority of its vital organs are clearly visible through its translucent skin. Scientists have found no clear explanation for the evolution of its ventral transparency, however.

Here’s a look at other transparent animals:

Transparent animals: A glass wing butterfly. Photo by Hans Dossenbach/Ardea/Caters News
Transparent animals: A glasswinged butterfly. Photo by Hans Dossenbach/Ardea/Caters News

Glasswinged butterfly is found resting on a leaf in Ecuador. Unlike other butterflies, the glasswinged butterfly lacks colored scales, so the tissue between the veins of its wings look like glass.

Fun fact: These butterflies are known as espejitos in Spanish, meaning “mirrors.”

Transparent animals: An elegant hydromedusa jellyfish. Photo by Ken Lucas/Ardea/Caters News
Transparent animals: A hydromedusa jellyfish. Photo by Ken Lucas/Ardea/Caters News

The hydromedusan jellyfish has a body that is almost entirely transparent and is capable of swimming fast by propelling itself with pulsed jets of water.

Fun fact: Best keep your distance since the hydromedusan jellyfish can sting.

Transparent animals: A thornback skate. Photo by Ken Lucas/Ardea/Caters News
Transparent animals: A big skate, Image 1. Photo by Ken Lucas/Ardea/Caters News
Transparent animals: A thornback skate, Image 2. Photo by Ken Lucas/Ardea/Caters News
Transparent animals: A big skate, Image 2. Photo by Ken Lucas/Ardea/Caters News

The Raja Binoculata or big skate are found from shallow inshore waters to the depths up to 1,900 feet. This one was spotted in San Pedro Bay, California.

Fun fact: The largest skate in North American waters was reportedly 7.9 feet long.

Transparent animals: A glass fish. Photo by Jean Michel Labat/Ardea/Caters News
Transparent animals: A glass fish. Photo by Jean Michel Labat/Ardea/Caters News

Glass fish are native to South Asia and travel in schools since they only grow to about 3 inches in length.

Fun Fact: Glass fish are popular aquarium fish because of their transparency.

Transparent animals: A white shrimp. Photo by Ken Lucas/Ardea/Caters News
Transparent animals: A white shrimp. Photo by Ken Lucas/Ardea/Caters News

White shrimp grow upwards to 7.8 inches. Their antennae may be three times the length of their bodies.

Fun fact: The white shrimp is one of three species of penaeid shrimp commercially harvested in the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.

Transparent animals: A paper nautilus. Photo by Valerie Taylor/Ardea/Caters News
Transparent animals: A paper nautilus. Photo by Valerie Taylor/Ardea/Caters News

The paper nautilus is a cephalopod also known as Argonaut and lives in pelagic habitats of the subtropics and tropics.

Fun fact: the paper nautilus shell is special among mollusks in that it is only built by the female to protect her eggs.

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