Diving in Sipadan 3 - The hidden horse
^_^ Finally, someone got the correct answer for the short quiz. DD, yes, it was you that guessed the answer. ;)
Well, dear everyone, the answer is....
See the thing that I am pointing with the yellow arrow?
Now, is that look like some living creature to you?
Have you got the answer?
Yes, I want to introduce to you...
PYGMY SEAHORSE!! (Hippocampus bargibanti)
Not just some normal seahorse, but a very small type of seahorse called pygmy seahorse. It can grow up until 2cm. Imagine how small it is for a seahorse.
That is why you see the three of us were searching for it up and low. Eventually, Patrick was the one that found it. There were supposed to be 4 on this gorgonian seafan, but we only managed to spot one.
Do you know why?
It was because of this. See how it morphs itself to the seafan?
The pygmy seahorse blends so perfectly with its host that the species was not discovered until 1970, when a zoologist noticed that several were clinging to a Muricella, in an aquarium. (source from here)
The picture above shows the pygmy seahorse with blooming polyps.
However, after slight touching with our pointers, these polyps were starting to contract.
Now, don't you think the seahorse is becoming a part of the seafan with its irregular bulbous tubercles on the body?
Eventually, all the polyps were closed fully making the seahorse easier to be seen.
This is not a very clear picture. However, I want to show you what is the real colour of this pygmy seahorse when taken with flash light.
Two colour morphs are recorded for this species, one is pale grey or purple with pink or red tubercles, the second is yellow with orange tubercles. Both are found only on gorgonians (sea fans) of the genus Muricella, in depths of 16-40m. (source from here)
Edward took so many shots of this little cutie until it is getting impatient.
It jumped twice to cling itself to other "twigs" of seafan, but still, it didn't able to get itself away. The way it jumped, super kawaii!!
"Ah~~~ quick!!! You slow hands! I am very sleepy now. Finish your business quickly and let me go to sleep, ok?"
Finally, Edward was done with the photographing. Well, at least he had enough pictures for him to choose.
It was definitely not an easy task to take a great picture of such a small thing with current against you at a 20m depth, what more with a camera that you just new bought for a few days. We seriously need some more light for better shots. However, Edward first attempt on it was a nice one too, considering he is an amarteur only. :P If fish fish the one took it, geee... I don't even dare to think about it.
You should see how Edward learnt to take his macro shots by focusing on his own toe hair. Muahahahhah... Well, not a bad way to learn shot... if you have long hair for your toe. Oops!!
I am ending my post today with a whole view of this pygmy seahorse from head till tail.
That was how Edward and me reached decompression limit. It was quite risky for us to do so. However, the moment of encountering with this seahorse, definitely priceless.
In fact, pygmy seahorse was the one that made me touched the most of my whole trip to Sipadan. I will never forget how cute it is with its mouth blowing and contracting.
Oh yes, I want to meet with it again. Someday... on some seafan. ^_^
Tomorrow I'll be off trail from Sipadan. I am gonna bring you to some exclusive place in Kuching.
Oolala~~~ now where will it be?