A Strange and Tiny Seahorse Has Been Discovered in South Africa

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The scientific name for this pygmy seahorse is Hippocampus nalu, which means ‘here it is’ in the local Xhosa and Zulu languages. Richard Smith/ A tiny species of seahorse never seen in African waters before has been discovered in South Africa’s Sodwana Bay. In fact, the pygmy seahorses found among the coral are the first ever known in the Indian Ocean, according to research published this month in the journal ZooKeys . Its nearest relative haunts the waters of Southeast Asia, about 5,000 miles away. “This discovery shows how rewarding it can be when researchers and the general public work together,” study co-author Maarten De Brauwer from the University of Leeds notes in a press release . “Finding Africa’s first pygmy seahorse is a reminder that there could be other undiscovered species out there and the fact we know very little about the seahorse family. “Being a part of the team that discovered this amazing creature is definitely a career highlight.” Seahorses have long been known for their weirdness — from males handling pregnancy duties to the mesmerizing underwater waltz they perform with potential mates. But pygmy seahorses manage to add their own special brand of weirdness. They have […]

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