That the thunderous tuna is more closely related to the delicate seahorse than a sailfish or a marlin? You may have seen these two relatives swimming around the same reef and never thought they could be so similar. Even though they seem so different they both belong to the group known as “spiny-rayed fish.” This group contains more than 18,000 species, many of which are present in Bonaire. The first comprehensive family tree (known as Phylogeny) of this group has supported the idea of a mighty tuna, commercial fished and valued, being closely related to the tiny seahorse intricately hiding amongst seaweed and corals. After years of genetic research, it has been discovered that evolution in this group of spiny-rayed fishes occurred at a constant rate for about 50 million years, resulting in a very large and diverse group of species. So when you are out exploring Bonaire’s reefs, take a second look at the marine life and know that just like a family, even close relatives can be uniquely different!