Our underwater menagerie: the pygmy seahorse

Our underwater menagerie: the pygmy seahorse

Hello all, and welcome to our first Bot-l-gram on conservation in amun ini. This blog will regularly feature topics involving marine biology, conservation, ecotourism and updates on our current environmental projects. Our first topic will be about seahorses in the Philippines.

 

seahorse-2

A few interesting facts about seahorses are that they can grow to a height of 8 inches and vary in color including orange, red, yellow, grey and green. Seahorses cannot curl their tails backwards and they like to swim in pairs linked at the tail. They belong to the kingdom Animalia, Phylum Chordata, Class Actinopterygii, Order Syngathiformes, Family Sygnathidae, Subfamily Hippocampinae, Genus Hippocampus and are further divided into 8 species in the Philippines.

 


seahorse-amunini

Seahorses are a type of bonyfish with small toothless mouths at the end of a tubular snout. Seahorses do not like to be out in the open so they hide in seagrass and algae and can even change their color to blend in with their surroundings. A seahorse will only have one mate for its entire lifespan. During mating the female will deposit approximately 1,500 eggs into the male’s small pouch. Out of the entire animal kingdom they are the only animals in which the male can become pregnant. The gestation time is between 2 and 3 weeks and the number of offspring varies but is usually over 100 individuals.

 

sehorse-3

In one of our dive sites, on a sea fan 25 meters deep approximately 10 pygmy seahorses reside and one of them is pregnant. It was first observed about 2 weeks ago so we expect to see him giving birth any day now! We hope to take a video of the male pygmy seahorse while giving birth. Stay tuned to see if we are lucky enough to catch a glimpse of this amazing feat!

Our special thanks to Chai Apale and the #‎ISeahorse-Philippines Team for making sure all of our facts about seahorses were correct and for saving Philippine seahorses, one seahorse at a time! Credit to Allard for taking these amazing pictures.

Check out his entire collection on http://vandosphotography.com/last-trip-amun-ini.html
Contributed by: Jeremy Horowitz

 



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