Creature of the Day – Seahorse

As we are standing at the dive site called Red Slave, a Belgian lady starts chatting with us and we find out that there is a seahorse at this dive site. It is in 4 m of water on the sand, or near the edge of the sand. With the thoughts of finding a seahorse, we decide the waves coming into shore aren’t too bad and prepare to dive.

After entering the water from shore, we do our deep portion of the dive but save some air to search for the seahorse at the end of the dive. Coming across the sand section, we zig zag but find no seahorses. Back at the truck, we find out that the folks who parked next to us saw the seahorse! Even had a photo! We quizzed them about the exact location and decided to try again.

After a snack and the required surface interval we don our gear again and head into the water. This time we search for the prize at the beginning of the dive. (I’m actually thinking we spend the whole dive searching!) We zig zag and cross cross and work our way down the sand section parallel to shore. We aren’t finding anything that looks like a seahorse just the odd flotsam or jetsam.

Then, I spy what looks like a seahorse head right by a piece of vegetation and, sure enough, it is a seahorse! I wave madly at Murray, not taking my eyes off the wonderful creature. Murray finally sees my crazy waving and kicks over. We spend some time taking photos and watching it. Finally we decide we better leave it in peace, and continue with our dive.

Seahorses (according to Wikipedia) belong to the genus Hippocampus, which comes from Ancient Greek. Hippos, meaning horse, and kampus, meaning sea monster. Cool. Their heads look like horses and they swim upright, propelling themselves, rather slowly, by their dorsal fin.

A well known oddity about seahorses is that the male carries the eggs that the female has deposited into his pouch. He carries them for up to 45 days and then delivers the tiny, but fully formed seahorses.

Amazing creatures!

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