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Sea Horses in Nova Scotia

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According to Wayne T. Joy, late summer brings Sea Horses to the waters around Halifax. This video was taken at Paddy’s Head, September 9, 2023. A great find and video!

Sizes of seahorses range from 0.6 to 13.8 in (1.5 to 35 cm). Their long snouted heads, bent necks, and distinctive trunk and tail give them an equine appearance, earning them the name. Despite being bony fish, they lack scales and instead have a thin layer of skin stretched over a series of bony plates that are distributed throughout their bodies in rings. The number of rings varies depending on the species.They are also protected from predators by the armour of bony plates, and because of this outer skeleton, they no longer have ribs. Seahorses propel themselves forward while swimming upright, a trait that their close relatives, the pipefish, who swim horizontally, do not share.

The pectoral fins, which are situated behind their eyes on either side of the head, are used for steering. They lack the fish-specific caudal fin. Their prehensile tail is made up of square-shaped rings that can only be unlocked under the most difficult circumstances.They can grow and reabsorb spiny appendages depending on their habitat, and they are skilled at camouflaging.

There is insufficient information to determine the risk of seahorse extinction, and the possibility of losing more seahorses is still a concern because data are lacking on the sizes of the various seahorse populations, as well as other issues like how many seahorses are dying each year, how many are being born, and how many are used as souvenirs. Seahorse habitats like coral reefs and seagrass beds are becoming less and less viable. Additionally, bycatch has a significant cumulative impact on seahorses in many places, where it is thought that 37 million of them are taken each year across 21 nations.

The male seahorses’ most remarkable trait is that they can become pregnant and give birth, which makes them a rare animal adaptation. Usually, male seahorses carry their eggs for two to four weeks. Then, 100 to 1,000 babies are born at a time.

Deep Perspective Diving (Wayne T. Joy)


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About Author

Kathy is the owner of Kirk Scuba Gear, a passionate Scuba Diver, Ocean Advocate and Managing Editor of The Scuba News Canada

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