Tiger tail seahorses, new research


This 2013 video shows baby tiger tail seahorses, one day old.

From Science News:

Genome clues help explain the strange life of seahorses

by Cassie Martin

4:30pm, December 14, 2016

A seahorse’s genetic instruction book is giving biologists a few insights into the creature’s odd physical features and rare parenting style.

Researchers decoded a male tiger tail seahorse’s (Hippocampus comes) genome and compared it to the genomes of other seahorses and ray-finned fishes. The analysis revealed a bevy of missing genes and other genetic elements responsible for enamel and fin formation. The absence of these genes may explain their tubelike snouts, small toothless mouths, armored bodies and flexible square tails, the team reports online December 14 in Nature.

Although H. comes may be short a few genes, the seahorse has a surplus of other genes important for male pregnancy — a trait unique to seahorses, sea dragons and pipefish. These genetic differences suggest the tiger tail seahorse has evolved more quickly than its relatives, the researchers conclude.

Many countries are engaged in a vast illegal and unrecorded international trade in seahorses, one that circumvents global regulations, according to new UBC study that has implications for many other animal species: here.

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3 thoughts on “Tiger tail seahorses, new research

  1. Pingback: Ruby seadragons, first ever video | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Marine animals discoveries off Indonesia | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: How snipefish feed, new research | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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