From Science Friday

This Tiny Seahorse Has Mastered Its Domain

To hide in the knobby sea fans they call home, Bargibant’s pygmy seahorses have evolved exquisite camouflage.

The Rich Ross centric part:

“When it comes time to mate, seahorses that engage in daily greetings generally extend that ritual into a more elaborate display that ultimately says, “I’m ready!” A few years ago, biologists at the Steinhart Aquarium, part of the California Academy of Sciences, raisedH. bargibanti in captivity for 126 days, and observed the species in mating mode. The interaction appears to go something like this: A male and female first trail each other around the sea fan, getting closer and closer until they’re facing one another. “By some signal, they decide, ‘this is when it’s gonna happen,’” says Richard Ross, a senior biologist at the aquarium. The pair then levitates from the safety of their fan, tails intertlaced, and the female deposits her eggs in about 30 seconds. They descend after that, but may repeat the process once or twice.”

The entire article:

Bargibant's pygmy seahorses are perfectly camouflaged to match the gorgonian sea fans they live on. Photograph by Richard Smith – OceanRealmImages.com

Bargibant’s pygmy seahorses are perfectly camouflaged to match the gorgonian sea fans they live on. Photograph by Richard Smith – OceanRealmImages.com

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reefthreads

We’re back for the 280th time. Our guests this week are Matt Wandell, Richard Ross and, for the first time, Nick Yim, from the Steinhart Aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences. Lots of subjects this week, but the big one is the new twilight-zone display at the aquarium and what it’s like to dive deep for new species. If you enjoy the show, please tell others. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine

 

Click below for a local copy of the file.

From Wired Magazine, Rich interviewed

A common octopus (Octopus vulgaris) at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco.

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