The vibrant colors of thumbnail-sized Pygmy Seahorses have always been aligned with the brilliant oranges or purples of the Gorgonian sea fan corals that they’re found camouflaged with, but until biologists at San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences collected a mating pair, there was a great mystery afoot: Do Pygmy Seahorses hide among the corals that match their skin, or do they change their skin to match the available corals?
Thanks to Deep Look, a beautiful 4K ultra-HD video series created by KQED and presented by PBS Digital Studios, shown above, now we know the answer.
See more behind-the-scenes with Cal Academy’s Science Today. (The video looks broken, but hit play. It’s there.)
Read more about the challenge of keeping Pygmy Seahorses and Gorgonian sea fan corals in captivity at KQED.org.
Related watching: more Syngnathidae videos (the fish family that includes seahorses, pipefishes, and both weedy and leafy sea dragons).