An extremely rare breed of seahorse has been found in British waters.
The Short Snouted Seahorse – scientific name Hippocampus Hippocampus – was found by experts off the coast of Devon.
Its native habitat is the south west waters but there has been a sharp decline in sightings and it is currently endangered.
It is now normally found in the Mediterranean and grows to between 7cm and 13cm long.
Mark Parry, community Seagrass initiative project manager at the National Marine Aquarium, said: “It is with great excitement that we are able to announce our first seahorse sighting within one of our seagrass surveys.
“Our volunteer divers even managed to capture photos of the beautiful animal.
“It is an extremely rare discovery to find a Short Snouted Seahorse in the UK, so to see one healthy and enjoying the natural coastal habitat in Devon is wonderful.
“It’s our intention to conduct follow up surveys to establish if this is a lone seahorse, or if there are a number within the seagrass bed.
“Seahorses were once a common breed on the south coast, but, the rarity of this sighting is unfortunately a sign of how our ocean environments have changed.”
Seahorses are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.