Unicorns are real!

And they live in the colorful Pacific Reef Community at the New England Aquarium. We're talking about two unique and beautiful species of fish with "unicorn" in their common names!

Can you find the unicorn tang and bignose unicornfish in this picture?

Without even knowing its common name, you might guess that this fish is known as a unicorn. It's the unicorn tang with an impressive horn protruding from the area near its eyes. These fish can grow to be more than a foot long, light bluish color with a gray underbelly. While these fish are listed as Least Concern according to the IUCN Red List, this species is a targeted food fish. There have been significant reductions in biomass in parts of its range.

Unicorn tang (Naso unicornis)

Now the bignose unicornfish is easy to distinguish from the other unicorn in the exhibit. This fish is more than a foot long with a darker blue pattern of dots and vertical lines. Most notably, adults develop a rounded snout and unusually tall dorsal and anal fins. Their populations are stable, listed of least concern according to the IUCN. But they are usually found on coral reefs, which are vulnerable as a result of degraded by water pollution, human pollution pressures, overfishing, tourism, Crown of Thorns sea star outbreaks and coral bleaching.

Bignose unicornfish (Naso vlaningii)

In the wild, you can find bignose unicornfish throughout the Indo Pacific in lagoons and seaward reefs. These are among the larger fish in the exhibit so it'll be easy to spot them weaving their way through the colorful corals along the tank.

Look for these unicorns on Level One near the rockhopper penguins. The Pacific Reef Community is buzzing with colors, patterns and movement. And if you're feeling adventurous, try to spot the dragons on Level Two! 

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