Animal of the Week: Seahorse

 

This Wednesday, I had to pick a marine animal that mates for life, it Valentine’s Day. Most seahorses do mate for life but not all. The reason that they become life mates is that they can produce more offspring per brood. Seahorses may court for several days. They can change color, and swim side to side for 6 hours to attract a mate. The male seahorse is the one that carries the offspring. The female deposits up to 1,500 eggs. The male will then carry the eggs for 9 to 45 days. Scientists believe that it takes so much energy for the female to produce the eggs, that she has low energy after and will not be able to hold the eggs as well as the male.

The Seahorse is a marine fish. Yes, really a marine fish. There are 54 species of seahorses. They are mainly found in shallow tropical and temperate waters around the world, in seagrass, coral reefs, and mangroves.

They swim upright which is unique to seahorses. They swim really poorly, so they usually stay stationary and use their long snouts to suck up food.

They are at risk of extinction, their habitat is at risk as coral reefs, and seagrass beds are deteriorating. They are also collected for aquariums where they susceptible for diseases. Seahorse are also targeted for the medicine. But their has been efforts to stop the import and export of seahorses.

I hope you learned a little something about the seahorse.

Happy Valentine’s Day

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Animal of the Week: Brittle Star

SO… I was thinking of doing a post every Wednesday to talk about a marine animal. If you have any ideas for what I should call that day. Let me know.

First up, is the Brittle Star. The scientific name is Ophiuroidea; they are closely related to the starfish. They live in at all depths in the ocean from the surface to 6000 meters. There are over 2,000 species of Brittle Stars, and most species live in waters deeper than 200 meters.

Their mouth is rimmed with five jaws and serves as an anus as well. Pretty cool. Most Brittle Stars live up to 5 years old; they sexually mature around 2 to 3 years.

One thing that Sea Stars and Brittle Stars are famous for is the regeneration. They can regenerate their arms unless they loose their whole arm. The discarded arm can not regenerate though. But fission can happen with six armed Brittle Stars. It takes 89 days to have a successful division, so in a year they can reproduce from fission 15 new individuals.

Last fun fact, over 60 species have been known to be bioluminescent! Basically, glow in the dark!! I will do a post on bioluminescence.

I found this guy on a large piece of trash in the middle of the ocean. My team and I decided to grab the large rope ball, and with it came some of these Brittle Stars!

 

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