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An Ornate Ghost Pipefish catches the light ~ poised towards the upper reaches of a decommissioned Oil and Gas Platform ~ part of the rigs to reef project aiming to boost marine protection in the area of the Brunei bay.

Ornates will adopt the coloration of the environment it settles in after its larval stage. With an intricate mottled pattern ~ it has short skin filaments on the body and snout with fins that have jagged edges ~ giving it a spikey appearance.

Pipefishes are related to Seahorses (Syngnathidae).

Strangely ~ it is the male which raises the young in a special brooding pouch under the belly.

Under careful observation ~ the ambient light shining through the pouch reveals the early stages of reproduction ~ with what seems to be more than one ovum!

As a Marine Scientist, Underwater Photographer, Wildlife Conservation FilmMaker & emerging Explorer ~ Nicks’ recent film “Colours of the Gulf” documented the plight of whale sharks and other marine life in the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill.

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