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Sea Horse

Sea Horse
Photo Information
Copyright: Kaustubh Wadekar (kaustubh0072) (54)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-04-07
Categories: Fish
Camera: Nikon Coolpix S10
Exposure: f/3.5, 1/60 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Underwater Wonder World 4, under and above the seas and lakes [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-07-25 4:31
Viewed: 5072
Points: 4
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Seahorses are a genus (Hippocampus) of fish belonging to the family Syngnathidae, which also includes pipefish and leafy sea dragons. There are over 32 species of seahorse, mainly found in shallow tropical and temperate waters throughout the world. They prefer to live in sheltered areas such as sea grass beds, coral reefs, or mangroves. Colonies have been found in European waters such as the Thames Estuary.

From North America down to South America there are approximately four species, ranging from very small in size (dwarf seahorses are only about an inch long) to those much larger, found off the Pacific Coast of Central America (the foot-long Hippocampus ingens). Hippocampus erectus are larger seahorses found anywhere from Nova Scotia down to around Uruguay.

These fish form territories, with males staying in about one square meter of their habitat while females range about one hundred times that area. They bob around in sea grass meadows, mangrove stands, and coral reefs where they are camouflaged by murky brown and grey patterns that blend into the sea grass backgrounds. During social moments or in unusual surroundings, seahorses turn bright colors. According to co-founder of Project Seahorse, Amanda J. Vincent, mates can blush a shade of creamy yellow when meeting each other in the morning. She even encountered one male who took the shade of the orange tape she used to mark the grid in the study area.

The male seahorse can give birth to as few as 5 and as many as 2,000 "fry" at a time and pregnancies last anywhere from two to four weeks, depending on the species.[7] When the fry are ready to be born, the male undergoes muscular contractions to expel them from his pouch. He typically gives birth at night and is ready for the next batch of eggs by morning when his mate returns. Like almost all other fish species, seahorses do not care for their young once they are born.

The question of why it is the males who undergo pregnancy rather than the females is actually not entirely known, though some researchers believe male pregnancy allows for shorter birthing intervals, hence more offspring. When looking at which sex has the ability to produce more young if they had an unlimited number of ready and willing partners, males have the potential to produce 17 percent more in a breeding season. Also, females have “time-outs” from the reproductive cycle that are 1.2 times longer than those of males. This does not seem to be based on physiology, rather mate choice. When the female’s eggs are ready, she must lay them in a few hours or else she has to eject them onto the sea floor which is a huge cost to her physically, as her eggs amount to about a third of her body weight.

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Under the seaIngrid1 1 08-18 08:25
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Critiques [Translate]

Nice shot Kaustubh
nice colors and details

Dear Kaustubh
Lovely capture of the seahorse and really interesting, educational notes. I am delighted about the sharp details: I have only seen Seahorses swimming in the waters of the Mediterranean and in the Maldives, and never noticed before, they had dark eyes.

neither came I on a seahorse with the distinctive pattern/stripes and dots
your animal shows.

You must be carrying an awful weight of equipment when you dive to achieve such splendid results; my little built-in flash is totally ineffective when the sun is not shine.

Thanks for sharing
Warm greetings from South Africa

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