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Cinema Bayville

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Creatures and Critters

King Neptune’s Steed

Narrator: Seahorses, like these at the National Aquarium in Baltimore's new exhibit, never cease to astonish. Even stranger than their bizarre appearance is the startling observation that the smooth-bellied males get pregnant and give birth. It's just one of the puzzles presented to scientists trying to understand and save seahorses.

One species of seahorse is native to the Chesapeake Bay. At the Calvert Marine Museum, in Solomons, Maryland, Aquarist. Carin Stringer is charting unknown waters in her research on this species.                             

Carin: Hippocampus erectus is the only species of seahorse in the Chesapeake Bay, and nobody knows much about it at all. They're hard to raise. Nobody's, to this point, published anything about raising the species, or has any good data on it, and we'll be the first ones if we get any good information.

I think people are fascinated with seahorse because they have a head that looks like a horse. They have a tail that can wrap around things like a monkey. And they have these eyes that move independently like chameleons do. And they also share with chameleons the fact that they can change their color readily. Plus they move so gracefully through the water. Hippocampus, their species name, actually means sea monster.

Narrator: This species of seahorse is also known as the Lined, or Northern seahorse. Its range in North America is thought to lie along the Atlantic, from Canada to Florida.


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