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New pygmy seahorse discovered 5,000 miles from where it should be

This article originally featured in The Skylark’s newsletter and was written as a condensed news in brief.

A new pygmy seahorse, the first of its kind in Africa, has been discovered off the coast of South Africa. The finding is unique as all seven other known species of pygmy seahorse are found in an area called the coral triangle in the Southwestern Pacific, bar one other species in Japan.

Richard Smith, a marine biologist and co-author of a new study on the species says it’s like finding a kangaroo in Norway. Similar in looks to other pygmy seahorses, the species is about the same size as a grain of rice with sharp spines on its back.

The seahorse was discovered by Savannah Nalu Olivier who first stumbled upon the creature in Sodwana Bay in 2017 while examining algae on the seafloor. Researchers have since named the new seahorse Hippocampus nalu, after Olivier, whose name roughly translates to “here it is.”

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