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Прочитай уривок із статті New pygmy seahorse discovered, first of its kind in Africa (by DOUGLAS MAIN)
In rough, boulder-strewn waters off eastern South Africa, researchers have found a new species: a pygmy seahorse about the size of a grain of rice.
The finding shocked them because all seven species of pygmy seahorse, except for one in Japan, inhabit the Coral Triangle, a biodiverse region of more than two million square miles in the southwestern Pacific. This one lives 5,000 miles away, the first pygmy seahorse seen in all of the Indian Ocean and the continent of Africa.
“It's like finding a kangaroo in Norway,” says Richard Smith, a marine biologist based in the United Kingdom and co-author of a new study on the species, known as the African or Sodwana Bay pygmy seahorse. The second name refers to the location where it was found, a popular scuba-diving spot close to the Mozambique border.
The new species looks somewhat similar to other pygmy seahorses, except that it has one set of spines on its back that have sharp, incisor-like points on the tips, says co-author Graham Short, an ichthyologist at the California Academy of Sciences and the Australian Museum in Sydney. In contrast, the other similar pygmy seahorses have flat-tipped spines.
“We really don't know what these spines are used for,” Short says. “Many species of seahorses in general are spiny, so their presence could be possibly due to sexual selection—the females may prefer spinier males.”
The surprising discovery, described in a study published May 19 in the journal ZooKeys, shows how little we know about the ocean, particularly when it comes to tiny creatures, the authors say—and that there are likely many more pygmy seahorse species to be identified.
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Dive instructor Savannah Nalu Olivier first stumbled upon the creature in Sodwana Bay in 2017, while examining bits 1________ algae on the seafloor. The bay is 2________ for having many species of rare fish, sharks, and sea turtles.
She shared photographs of the 3________ with her colleagues, and in 2018 they made their way to Smith, who, with colleague Louw Claassens, collected several specimens of the animal at depths of 40 to 55 feet.
The researchers have named the new seahorse Hippocampus nalu, after Olivier, 4________ nickname is appropriately “Fish.” (She’s also a Pisces.) In the South African languages Xhosa and Zulu, “nalu” roughly translates to “here it is.”
“I told her that this was a gift from the sea,” says Louis Olivier, Savannah’s father, 5________ owns a scuba diving outfit called Pisces Diving Sodwana Bay. He adds he’s “super stoked about her discovery.”
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