Habitat: Eastern Indian Ocean: southern Australia
Status: Not Evaluated

Everyone knows how intimidating Rhinos can be. With their sharp horns and rough skin, you really wouldn’t want to cross paths with one that’s having a grumpy kind of day. Apparently, the Rhino Pipefish (Histiogamphelus cristatus) decided it would be best to emulate the formidable beast to drive off underwater predators. However, it didn’t exactly develop the menacing horn the land version has. Instead, it has a pretty benign crest that forms just above its head.

Looking at itself, it probably realized having a little forehead bump isn’t going to have the same effect as a horn that can pierce through skin. SO, instead of just crying in a corner about its poor horn-growing skills, it decided to make the best of the situation – and become a reed. Yes, the only logical thing to do was to become a billowing reed, hidden in plain site amongst the underwater vegetation.

And I have to say… well done tiny Rhino Pipefish, well done. That forehead bump makes for the perfect weedy camouflage. I mean, can you even pick it out from the photos above? It’s definitely takes a second, that’s for sure.

So, the moral of the story here is that even if you’re only 14 cm long, cursed with no intimidating aspects, and on the menu for a variety of larger creatures – no fear! Just become a reed and it’s alllll good.