This New Species of Pygmy Seahorse Is the Size of a Lentil

9th August, 2018 – This pygmy seahorse is tiny—the size of a grain of rice. Researchers recently discovered that the colourful animal is a distinct species. Its name is Hippocampus japapigu, Latin for “Japan pig” seahorse, as some believe it resembles a baby pig. Japan pigs have a unique ridge on their backs made of triangular bones. Their backs also have a single wing-like structure, instead of a pair. These features distinguish them from other species of pygmy seahorses. Like other pygmy seahorses, the Japan pig evades predators by blending into its environment. The species has been observed in southeastern Japan, and off Hachijō-jima Island, south of Tokyo. They live in shallow waters and eat plankton. California Academy of Sciences researcher Graham Short describes the animal as “quite active, even playful."

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