Helen Scales

pygmy ph fossil

Strange fossils

In my latest story for National Geographic News I introduce the world to the first found fossil of a pygmy pipehorse. These wierd-looking animals are close relatives of seahorses and look something like a cross between a seahorse and a pipefish – they have the same bulging belly, the same bent-over head and prehensile tail. The only real differences is the pygmy pipehorses swim horizontally instead of with their heads up, like seahorses.

The find was made by Slovenian geologist Jure Zalohar who back in 2009 was the first to find a fossil of an extinct seahorse species (he found two in fact!). The site he continues to excavate is brimming with syngnathidae fossils and I can’t wait to hear what he finds next.

Check out the National Geographic News story for more details and some neat pictures of living pygmy pipehorses and a reconstruction of what their ancient ancestors probably looked like.

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