Scientists uncover how colorful pygmy seahorses camouflage themselves

seahorse camouflage
CC BY 2.0 Silke Baron

Pygmy seahorses are fragile and tiny, they could have been included in our list of animals tiny enough to sit on your finger. On average, they tend to be between 0.55 inches and 1.06 inches (14–27 millimeters) long from nose to tail, which means as they swim curled up they seem even smaller.

Yet their smallness becomes an advantage when combined with their amazing ability to disguise themselves as bits of coral. They’re found on bright orange or purple corals, blending in and avoiding the notice of predators.

But how did the seahorses come to be the right color? Biologists at the California Academy of Sciences set out to answer this question:

This video was created by KQED Public Media and presented by PBS Digital Studios. It’s part of a new series of videos called Deep Look, which explores the big world of science by examining the very small.

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