Sea horses, a trusty uniquely partner
Do you often hearing about a pair of pigeon, when flown separated, they were able to find their own partner? Well, this phenomenon is not only exist in the air, we also have this couple in the sea! Yup, its sea horses couple.
These marine creatures have scientific name Hippocampus sp. with family Syngnathidae, kind of fish with a very particular form. Their body size are variated, 16 mm to 35 cm. This species has around 54 species in the world. The head of each sea horse is triangle, resembles of a real horse, with a long snout, forming 90º degree from its own body. The tail is elongated, curled, sharp in the end, and used as a holder.
Sea horses are spread in tropical and subtropical area in the world, commonly live in shallow water with seagrass, coral reef, seaweed, and mangrove habitat. Their lifespan are commonly 1 to 5 years. Sea horses have excellent eyesight and work independently on each side. These marine creatures eat almost anytime. They even don’t have any teeth or stomach, the food just passes through their body very quickly. They eat plankton and able to comsume 3000 artemia everyday.
Sea horses are monogamy, they will just mating with only one partner in their life. Male seahorses were highly active and preferred a larger female, suggested the importance of the body size for a successful reproduction. To impress their partner, both individual male and female sea horses change colours to brighten. Although sea horses are not able to bend their own tail backwards, each couple are comfortably swim together in pairs by holding tails. They move vertically and swim slower than a slug, this also because of their straight body.
Similar to kangaroo, sea horses own egg sac on tummy to nurturing their kids. However, this egg sac exist on male. The other lovely thing is, during reproduction season, they performed a special dance! They did spawning use their own tail as hand to reach each other with this exclusive dance. After that, the anal fin of female sea horse entered to the male egg sac to transfered hundreds eggs to be fertilized by male. Until hatching time, the larva still kept in there and taken out when considerably strong enough.
Every time, especially during reproduction time, each sea horses couple will meet to confirm their eggs are well until hatching time and become adult sea horses. They love to holding tails each other and loyal to their ‘only one’ partner until death comes apart. What a remarkable lesson!
1. Mattle B & Wilson AB (2009). Body size preferences in the pot-bellied seahorse Hippocampus abdominalis: choosy males and indiscriminate females. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.
2. Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Affairs Republic of Indonesia. Guide Book to Sea Horses.