Scientists puzzled by fish discovered at bottom of Antarctica ocean – its blood is totally clear

// April 8th, 2013 // General Science News


The ocellated icefish (Chionodraco rastrospinosus) has no hemoglobin and hence, its blood is totally clear

Every animal with bones on planet Earth utilizes oxygen that is delivered in its blood via hemoglobin, which binds to the oxygen molecules to make the blood appear red.  Every animal that is, except for a newly discovered species, the ocellated icefish (Chionodraco rastrospinosus).  The ocellated icefish’s blood has no hemoglobin and hence, its blood is oddly, and absolutely, clear.

Scientists found the ocellated icefish in the icy waters off of Antarctica.  It lives at a bone-crushing depth of 3,200 feet, where the frigid waters are inky dark and eerily quiet.  The oddly constructed creature is spotted, with a long pointed snout, and has an unusually large heart and dark, cloudy-looking eyes.

A single pair of ocellated icefish live in captivity, in the Tokyo Sea Life Park where luckily, the pair recently spawned giving scientists hope that their offspring may be studied to help unravel the mystery of the fish’s clear blood.  Still, scientists say it may take years to figure out how the icefish distributes oxygen throughout its body without the aid of hemoglobin.

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