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pygmy seahorse on gorgonian coral in Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea

Hiding in Plain Sight

Can you spot the pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus sp.)? (Hint: Its head is pointing back and to the left, with its left eye partly visible.) This little fellow, about a quarter of an inch long, clings to a stem of a gorgonian coral with its prehensile tail. Its color and the bumps on its body make it resemble the knobby host. WHOI biologist Simon Thorrold found it along a coral reef in Kimbe Bay on the north side of the island of New Britain, Papua New Guinea. He traveled there recently to study the movement of eggs and larvae of coral reef fishes among marine protected areas within the bay. (Photo by Simon Thorrold, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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