From the heights of the Sawtooths, I headed down to the shores of the Pacific with my family.
We visited The Birch Aquarium, at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography where I positively fell in love with their seahorses, and seahorse relations. What mesmerising creatures.
Seahorses propel themselves with a small fin located on their back, but they are not powerful swimmers. They use their tails, tenderly twining it around items to anchor themselves so they don’t get swept away in currents. I can’t recall ever seeing a live seahorse before, they are so unusual in their appearance, and so gentle, I could have watched them for hours.
|Seahorse, The Birch Aquarium
I am certain I have never seen this creature before, the Leafy Dragon, isn’t he amazing?
|Leafy Dragon, Scripps Institute of Oceanography|
Nor have I ever seen a splendid vine dragon, his fins really look like little vines with beautiful blue leaves.
In addition to their appearance, seahorses are unusual in that they are monogamous and mate for life. Also, it is the males who bear the offspring in these herds.
Sadly, this magical creature is at risk of becoming extinct in many waters due to excessive harvesting of them for souvenirs and for folk medicine purposes, primarily in China.
If you find yourself in the La Jolla area, I highly recommend a visit to this aquarium, it is full of interesting exhibits and offers incredible view of the Pacific from it’s hillside perch. I applaud them for raising awareness of this wonderful creature and it’s precarious situation in our seas.