March 25, 2010

Endangered Strangers: The Lined Seahorse

We invoke thee, oh dark lord!

We, The Lined Seahorses...Whoops!

Oh hai...hoomanz! What you doin' down here?
No, no we're just pretending at being diabolical.
Why you make ring of salt and say evil triad?
Hmph, well maybe we are evil triad...maybe.
You don't know what goes down on ocean floor.
And if you did, we'd have to kill you.
Muwahahahaha!!!
No, no we're kidding- just a little seahorse humor.
We're weird.

Infact all seahorses could be considered a bit weird. Of all the known male animals in the entire animal kingdom, only seahorse males have a true pregnancy. Seahorses have a prehensile tale which they use to anchor themselves to sea plants, each other for mating, or coral alters for seances and the like.

They even have eyes that can rotate independently of each other! That is all rather unusual for a fish. Infact they don't even have scales as other fish do.

Lined seahorses vary in color and are named for the pearl white lines along the contour of the neck.The live in the Western Atlantic.

Lined seahorses are among the most commonly caught seahorse. They are threatened by habitat degradation due to coastal development and pollution, targeted catch and incidental capture by fisheries. Lined seahorses are sold into the aquarium trade, for Chinese medicine, and dried as curios/decorations (sadly I purchased one of these as a child). The Lined seahorse is quite popular in the North American aquarium trade and thousands are collected each year in Florida.

Seahorses are monogamous for life and even perform greeting dances each morning to strengthen their bond. Since you've been dying to know more about this male pregnancy thing, here is how it goes- The female sprays eggs into the male's brood pocket on the lower side of his tail. There the eggs are incubated for about 21 days. After the eggs hatch they will ride around in the male's pouch until they are sufficiently capable of swimming on their own. Below you can view a real life example of male pregnancy.

Take that Inside Edition /World News Weekly /People Magazine/ Stupid fake-dramatic stuff!



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