Friday, March 23, 2012

The Sandfish

Possibly the most amazing lizards now exist on Earth. A lizard of just 10 cm long (some specimens reaching 20 cm) and a truly curious peculiarity: anything under the sand.

The name given is "Sandfish", and that is, as we said, nothing in the sand, not water. The Scincus scincus (is scientific name) slides across the sand of the Sahara Desert, which is the finest sand in any other desert in the world.

It has a long snout wedge that opens the sand with a countersunk lower jaw. A long, tapered body covered with smooth, bright and tight scales that favor reduced friction with the sand particles.
Their legs are short and stout, with long and flat feet that hides when immersed in the dunes and its tail is short, tapering to a fine point. Their eyes and nostrils are very small.

But apart from his physical appearance that catches your attention is the ease with which it moves through the inside of the arena. Rather than for any other animal would be impossible or by working hard (in the case that could swim through the sand) and sand the fish as if they really get it traveling through water. Had hitherto been a mystery, but technological advances show us how this curious animal is able to swim in the sand:

Let us first see how it does.

Now let's see how he does it but X-ray


Thursday, March 8, 2012


In the deep ocean habitats that are very different from those found in shallow coastal waters or in the first 200 meters deep. Therefore, the animals found are also very different. Animals that have had to adapt to high pressure, very low temperatures and of course the infinite darkness.

We saw the Pelican eel, a monster of the deep. But now I want to show other animals living in the depths: Giant Hatchetfish or Greater Silver Hatchetfish (Argyropelecus gigas, the image).

This animal "friendly appearance" is located at depths above 600 meters. With his dark eyes, looks up and detects the silhouettes of prey that can be seen in contrast to the dim light (invisible to us) that comes from the surface.

Not only that, if we thought that another predator even more terrible than the Giant Hatchetfish the same technique used to detect this and other fish, we would realize a feature of survival and adaptability of Argyropelecus own gigs ... is INVISIBLE. It is capable of producing, through his body photophore (producing light) blue reflections similar to those seen if you look at the surface, making it completely invisible.

Finally, think not that this little fish on tender stalks you in the depths. It is harmless to people, because although the species has the word giant, no larger than 15 cm. Distributed by the deep abyssal Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific.

We often call: