As you can tell by the title of this blogpost, today we are going to be delving deeper into Seahorses! They are a fun subject, although sometimes very camera shy. Let’s go through some interesting facts about these equine fish!
Here in the Lembeh Strait we get several different species of Seahorse, Thorny, Pygmy, and Common to name a few. Seahorse species vary greatly in size and can be anything from 1 cm – 35,5 cm. The smallest species are the Pygmy Seahorses that are so small they will fit on your pinky fingernail! The genus name of Seahorse is Hippocampus, and they are a bony fish. They do not have any scales, but rather a thin layer of skin surrounding bony plates which are arranged in rings around their bodies. This outer skeleton will protect the Seahorse from predators, but also means they have evolved not to have any ribs!
Seahorse are not known for being good swimmers, and we commonly see them sitting on the sand holding on to some seagrass or coral with their long tail. Pygmy Seahorse are found in matching sea fans, holding on with their tail. Their tail is fully prehensile, which means that it has adapted to be able to hold onto or grasp objects, a characteristic which they share with their relatives, Pipehorses! They use their small dorsal fin to propel themselves forward which can flutter up to 35 times per second and they use their pectoral fins for steering. Because they are such poor swimmers they can easily die of exhaustion if they are caught in a current or stormy waters.
Seahorses are one of the very few fish that are monogamous. Even more interesting and rare, is that it is actually the male seahorses that bear the young! Male seahorses have a pouch on their front and after several days of courting, the female will place her eggs into this pouch. She can deposit up to 1,500 eggs at one time! The male then fertilizes these eggs internally, and will carry them for 9-45 days (depending on species). His mate will visit him daily during the gestation period, until he is ready to release the babies! He will expel the tiny seahorses with muscular contractions. Sometimes we are lucky to see these tiny juvenile Seahorse on Blackwater Dives. The birthing usually happens during night time and the male and female will usually mate again the next morning during breeding season.
Another interesting fact about Seahorses is they lack both teeth and a stomach. They feed mostly on small crustaceans either floating through the water or moving over the sand, using their long snouts and their excellent camouflage as a way to get close to their prey without alerting them to their presence. Because of the lack of teeth, it is very important they get close enough to their prey to “suck” it into their mouth by expanding it. Since they do not have a stomach and their digestive system is very simple they need to eat constantly to sustain themselves.
We hope you enjoyed this blogpost and learned something new! If you have any questions please let us know in the comments below.
Why Dive with NAD-Lembeh Resort?
NAD-Lembeh Resort is a small, owner-operated, photography-oriented dive resort in the Lembeh Strait. We are situated in a private bay on Lembeh Island, away from the hustle and bustle of the mainland. We guarantee a 2:1 guest to guide ratio as standard, which makes for a private dive experience and lots of time to take pictures.
ROOMS & BUNGALOWS
All our rooms (10 Beachfront Rooms, 5 Seaview Bungalows) offer ocean view, air conditioning, hot water, wifi, including full board. Our resort has only few steps, which makes our layout extremely convenient to get from your room to the restaurant, camera room, bar and floating jetty.
Our dive team consists of 15 full-time guides, with over 100 years of combined experience! Air as well as Nitrox and various cylinder sizes (both DIN and Yoke are available onsite).
BOATS & FLOATING JETTY
NAD-Lembeh has 4 large, purpose-built dive boats. Each at around 15m long, they offer lots of space and comfort for the divers. Boats feature onboard toilets, towels, drinks and snacks and first aid/ oxygen.
Our jetty allows our guests dignified and quick boat entries – all our dive boats can be moored simultaneously, so there is no wading through the shallows to get on the boat for the dive!
Our focus at NAD is to take your underwater photography to the next level. We offer 1:1 photo classes and our guides are all proficient with photography, using our rental equipment for fun dives when not diving with guests.
We shoot video up to 8K, along with Nikon/ Canon SLR and mirrorless setups. This gives us a rounded knowledge of all cameras. We are also the go-to location for natural history filming in the Straits.
Our newly renovated, huge camera room offers one work space for each and every guest. The spacious, individual benches with lots of power points were purposely built for underwater photographers. NAD’s dedicated camera room is also the perfect place to work on and edit your pictures.
Several rental cameras and strobes are available onsite. We have basic tools and spare parts in our gift shop in case of minor camera problems as well as a drying cabinet, and computer for you to work on and edit your photos.