Did You Know? Lined Seahorse
The Lined Seahorse (Hippocampus erectus) is also known as the Northern Seahorse or Spotted Seahorse, and sometimes Caballito de Mar (in Spanish) or Hippocampe Rayé (in French). Whatever you call them, seahorses are a species of fish that look like a horse sitting upright. In fact, the translation from their Latin name is “standing horse”.
There are a number of reasons why it’s easier to see Lined Seahorses in an aquarium than in the wild. They like deep water; they are diurnal (most active at dawn and dusk); and, though they may be found from Nova Scotia to Argentina and throughout the Gulf of Mexico, they are really difficult to spot. In fact, we’ve added bright art glass to our Lined Seahorse tank, which can be found in the Discovery Center Gallery at the Living Coast.
It’s difficult to spot them in the wild because they are masters at camouflage. They vary in color, the number and pattern of lines and dots on their bodies, and the size and shape of fleshy tabs on their heads and necks varies depending on their surroundings. Add it all up and you’d be lucky indeed to spot a Lined Seahorse — because most of this protective camouflage looks just like their habitat.
If you were looking for a super power, invisibility would be a good one as it keeps you hidden from predators. This is why Lined Seahorses are just some of the amazing animal superheroes we’ve lined up for our SuperWild exhibit, running March 28 through September 7, 2015. Come out and see if you can spot all of the sea horses at the Living Coast Discovery Center!
If you’re interested in more animal superpowers, click here for information on SuperWild.