The Tunjice Hills Seahorses are two extinct species of seahorse - Hippocampus sarmaticus and Hippocampus slovenicus found in 2005 in the coprolitic horizon of the Tunjice hills Lagerstätte in Slovenia. The horizon dates 13 million years back to the lower Sarmatian during the middle Miocene period, making the two species the earlier known seahorse fossils in the world. Among the remains, one adult female specimen of H. sarmaticus is fully preserved, with bony plates and other important macroscopic features. The rest are mostly juvenile specimens and remains of head and backbones of adults.
The animals are believed to have lived among seagrasses and macroalgae in the temperate shallow costal waters of the western part of the central Paratethys.
- ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2006). Species of Hippocampus in FishBase. May 2006 version.
- ^ a b Žalohar J., Hitij T., Križnar M. (2009). "Two new species of seahorses (Syngnathidae, Hippocampus) from the Middle Miocene (Sarmatian) Coprolitic Horizon in Tunjice Hills, Slovenia: The oldest fossil record of seahorses". Annales de Paléontologie 95 (2): 71–96. doi:10.1016/j.annpal.2009.03.002.