Everyone loves seahorses
Seahorses have a horse-like head, a monkey-like tail, a kangaroo-like pouch, and chameleon-like eyes !!! But even if they look very different, they are FISH!!! But this kind of fish that doesn’t really swim very well… one species, the dwarf seahorse even have the record of slowest fish in the world with a top speed about 1,5 mt per hour!! In fact, Seahorses prefer to rest in one area, sometimes holding on the same coral or seaweed for days…
The rule in the ocean is clear… If you can’t swim fast, you need to hide! And if there is something seahorses master, that’s camouflage!! They are able to change colour and grow skin filaments to blend in their surroundings. Some seahorses, like the pygmy seahorse have a shape, size and colour that allow them to blend in perfectly with their coral habitat, driving every diver trying to spot them CRAZY!!!!
Dad is Mom
One of the amazing things with the seahorse is the way it reproduces!! Male seahorses are nature’s real life Mr. Moms. They take fathering to a whole new level: pregnancy. Although it is common for male fish to play the dominant parenting role, male pregnancy is a complex process unique to the fish family Syngnathidae, which includes pipefish, seahorses and sea dragons. It all begins when a male and a female seahorse do daily pre-dawn dances, intertwining their tails and swimming together.
Eventually they engage in a true courtship dance, which can last as long as eight hours. It ends with the female depositing her eggs in the male’s pouch… Best husband ever!
We are very lucky in East Timor for having a big diversity of those seahorses and their cousins pipehorses and pipefish!! Thorny Seahorse, Common Seahorse, Pygmy Seahorse, Robust and Ornate Ghost Pipefish and so many more ….
And our favourite site for the thorny seahorse is the great critter site Tasi Tolu