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The Amazing Seahorse

into the pouch, where they are fertilized. When the boning ritual is completed, the partners drift down to the bottom of their habitat and the male sways gently back and forth, encouraging the eggs to settle firmly into his pouch. Depending of the species and the water temperature, pregnancy lasts from two to six weeks and the male will give birth to up to 1500 babies. Artists often depict the seahorse’s tail as being curled back toward the head, however this position is impossible for an adult to attain. Young seahorses are more agile than are adults and can bend their tails backward in a reverse crescent formation. Adult seahorses seldom carry the tail in a straight

greeting ritual dance that is initiated by the female. Their elegant courtship includes the pair changing color, entwining around one another, and promenading together for up to nine hours. Eventually, the female points her snout up and starts rising in the water. The male then begins to force water in and out of his abdominal brood pouch. The pair connect, their movements synchronized as they rise through the water, while the female positions her egg duct over the opening of the male’s pouch. They lock together in mid-water as the female transfers long, sticky strings of eggs

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Tidewater Times August 2011  

August 2011 Tidewater Times