New Seahorse and Coral Found in Australian Waters

Two new species have been found in Australia in the Coral Sea near the Barrier Reef. Atolls were explored by a team from the Queensland Museum and the University of Queensland. In the dark depths adjacent to the atolls a new pygmy seahorse and coral were found. They are not really new: they have always been there. The depths were surveyed with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV).

The seahorse, Hippocampus denise, is native to the Coral Sea of the Indo-West Pacific. It was not know to exist in Australian waters. The tiny seahorse usually lives in shallow water not at depths which sunlight does not reach. They may be going deeper to avoid damage to coral from climate change.

In regard to the new coral, Echinomorpha nishihirai, perhaps the larvae are safer in this zone. They could be acting as seeding areas to repopulate shallower zones. La NiƱa has damaged many of these. Many more new species are expected to be identified in the ongoing research.
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