04 Jan Seahorse: Facts and Where to See Them in Bali
The Seahorse is a truly unique animal. Their elegant bodies give them a distinct and memorable character. Historically they’ve been the subject of artists and painters due to their enigmatic figure. They’ve also been captured and used in Asian Traditional Medicine, and have also been kept in aquariums due to their exotic nature.
It comes as no surprise, as these fascinating animals have lots of hidden facts and trivia that makes them so desirable to see and observe. Here are just some of the facts you should know if you see one when you dive underwater!
Males give birth
The male counterpart of the Seahorse is actually the one that gets pregnant and gives birth. It is unlike any other species, and truly sets them apart. The female would insert her eggs into the male brood pouch in the front, and once the eggs are inserted the male would find a safe coral or seaweed to latch on to and wait for the gestation period. Once ready, the male will give birth by contorting its body to release the newborns.
They are actually fish
Seahorses are in fact, biologically classified as fish. This is due to the fact that they have gills for breathing and a swimming bladder to control their buoyancy. And despite not having traditional tail fins, they do in fact have 4 other fins that are located at the base of their tail, on their belly and behind each of their cheeks.
They have prehensile tails
Meaning they can use their tails to cling on to surrounding corals or whatever they can find to latch on to. Seahorses like to stay in one location because they aren’t very good swimmers. Therefore their tails are perfectly suited for their survival.
Where to spot them in Bali
The Common Seahorse (Hippocampus Taeniopterus), can be observed in the waters of Amed Beach and in the southern waters of the Gili Islands. They are easy to spot because they are the larger species growing up to 25cm in length. The Thorny Seahorse and the pygmy seahorse Bargibanti, can also be spotted in the waters of Tulamben in small colonies amongst the gorgonian fans underwater.
Sightings of the seahorse in Bali can be challenging, this is why it’s essential to have a knowledgeable guide to show you where they like to live. Our team of expert diver guides at Blue Season Bali can help guide you to diving in Bali and find the seahorses.