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This is Scientific American's 60-second Science, I'm Emily Schwing.
Some ocean animals have a clever form of camouflage―they're transparent. But being see-through is far less common on land.
"And there's a few reasons why that may be."
Jim Barnett is a postdoctoral research fellow at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada.
"Differences between air and water as a surrounding medium means that light interacts differently with a transparent organism's body tissues."
In the ocean, light is always coming from above, and the background is less variable.
But in jungle canopy, light is coming from many directions, and the background is far more variable.
Enter a little critter called the glass frog. It's not actually transparent; it's translucent.
That means its skin in some places is thin enough that you can actually see its internal organs hard at work.
"Most of the time, when you see photographs of these frogs, they're taken under quite controlled conditions,
with either strong lighting, like a powerful flash, or they're photographed from underneath on a piece of glass,
and it's really their bellies which are transparent.
And these frogs are pretty small and thin and quite delicate, so if you have a powerful flash on your camera,
you can sort of just blast light through them, and they will look pretty transparent."
Barnett says the frog's translucent skin is actually a novel camouflage strategy that no one's ever really studied―until now.
这里是科学美国人――60秒科学系列,我是埃米莉・施温。
有些海洋动物拥有巧妙的伪装形式――它们是透明的。但陆地上的透明动物远没有海洋中常见。
“这可能有几个原因。”
加拿大安大略麦克马斯特大学的博士后研究员吉姆・巴内特说到。
“空气和水作为周围介质,二者之间的差异意味着光与透明生物体的身体组织之间的相互作用不同。”
在海洋中,光总是来自上方,而背景的变化较小。
但在丛林树冠中,光线来自多个方向,而且背景的变化也要大得多。
进入一种名为透明蛙的小生物。这种生物实际上并不是透明的;而是半透明的。
这意味着它某些地方的皮肤足够薄,以致于你可以看到它的内脏在努力工作。
“大多数时候,你所看到的这些青蛙的照片,都是在严格受控的条件下拍摄的,
要么有强力闪光灯等强烈的灯光,要么是将它们放在一块玻璃上进行拍摄,
其实它们的腹部是透明的。
这些青蛙又瘦又小,而且很脆弱,如果你的相机上有强力闪光灯,
相当于你用光线穿越了它们,所以它们看起来会很透明。”
巴内特表示,透明蛙半透明的皮肤其实是一种新颖的伪装策略,直到现在还没有人真正研究过。
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