“Navigating the world’s oceans can be a difficult task for anyone.
For a tiny seahorse with only small fins and a tail for locomotion it seems an impossible task.
However, a seahorse that lives on the western coast of the Atlantic has been found in the Azores almost 5000km away from its possible home.
Researchers suggest the seahorse may have completed the epic journey using its prehensile tail to hitch a ride on a raft of floating sea grass.
An international team of researchers from the UK and the Azores publish their discovery in the Journal of Fish Biology.
Lost at sea
The seahorse was found by a fisherman on the isolated Azores archipelago in the eastern Atlantic.
Two species of seahorse Hippocampus guttulatus and Hippocampus hippocampus are native to Europe and the Azores, an autonomous region of Portugal.
We were surprised to identify the unknown seahorse as H. erectus, as this species is found thousands of kilometres away
Dr Paul Shaw
Royal Holloway University of London, UK.
The researchers compared the morphology and DNA of the seahorse with the two native species and found it was a lined seahorse Hippocampus erectus usually found along the Atlantic coast and Caribbean sea coasts of North, Central and South America….”