CC BY 4.0 Richard Smith/ZooKeys Meet the ‘Japan pig,’ a newly discovered pygmy seahorse that is as tiny as it is beautiful. The Syngnathidae family is a wonderfully odd bunch of fish. Including curious creatures like pipefishes, pipehorses and seadragons, the family also boasts seahorses amongst its members. And now there’s a new member of the tribe, the Japan pig. Named for its cute little snout that reminded local divers of a pig, Hippocampus japapigu , is not actually new, of course, but newly discovered as its own species. The Japan pig is one of just seven known pygmy seahorse species, named for their diminutive size. The Japan pigs fit right in at a mere 15 millimeters long. The newfound seahorse is about as long as a grain of rice. Or, small enough "to fit two or three on the nail of my pinkie,” says Graham Short, ichthyologist at the California Academy of Sciences and lead author of the paper describing the discovery. Occurring exclusively in Japan, very little is known about them, and about pygmy seahorses in general, says Short. Though he says that they are not that rare and they appear to have a fun side, noting […]


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