Northern Seahorse (Hippocampus erectus)
Watercolor and black walnut ink
The unusual and striking Seahorse can vary in color and markings depending upon the species, though they all have their characteristic horse-shaped head. They reside in both temperate and tropical waters, amongst reefs, mangroves, seaweed or other aquatic vegetation, which they can grasp with their long spiral tails to anchor themselves. They swim vertically, rather than sideways, using their dorsal fins to propel themselves in an undulating motion.
An interesting aspect of Seahorse breeding behavior is the fact that the male, rather than the female, essentially raises the juveniles. After breeding, the female will deposit fertilized eggs into his brood pouch where he will guard the developing young as they absorb their yolk. When this stage is complete, up to 150 tiny seahorses, less than half an inch long, will emerge from the pouch and continue their growth, independent of the father. For more information about the seahorse, visit the Seahorse Trust >>
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