Horse Head, Monkey Tail

SeahorsesHere’s a program from our archives. Ambience: ocean It has a head like a horse, a tail like a monkey – and it can change its color to match its surroundings. The seahorse is certainly an amazing looking creature, but its most remarkable trait might well be the way it reproduces. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Messbauer: Seahorses are capable of camouflage. They usually change color to what they’re holding on to. So if they’re holding on to a yellow sponge, they look just like a yellow sponge. You wouldn’t even notice they’re there.Amy Messbauer is the seahorse keeper at the New York Aquarium. She never tires of observing seahorses, particularly when it’s time for them to mate. Messbauer: Well, the most unusual thing about seahorses is the way they reproduce. The male carries the eggs in a pouch for a length of time until the eggs hatch and then he expels the babies into the water. When they mate, the female deposits the eggs into the male’s pouch through an ovipositor. It’s like a little tube that deposits them into his pouch. It’s actually kind of difficult. If you watch them do it, you’re amazed that they get any in there. Because, a lot of times, I find eggs on the bottom of the aquariums, because they miss, or the male rejects them for some reason. Even though the male holds the eggs in his pouch, the female actually expends more energy to produce the eggs than the male does just to hold them. So, sorry ladies – we still do most of the work.To hear about our new CD, please visit pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

Horse Head, Monkey Tail

Sea horses are not only unique visually, but also in their reproductive behavior.
Air Date:03/30/2020
Scientist:
Transcript:

SeahorsesHere's a program from our archives. Ambience: ocean It has a head like a horse, a tail like a monkey - and it can change its color to match its surroundings. The seahorse is certainly an amazing looking creature, but its most remarkable trait might well be the way it reproduces. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Messbauer: Seahorses are capable of camouflage. They usually change color to what they're holding on to. So if they're holding on to a yellow sponge, they look just like a yellow sponge. You wouldn't even notice they're there.Amy Messbauer is the seahorse keeper at the New York Aquarium. She never tires of observing seahorses, particularly when it's time for them to mate. Messbauer: Well, the most unusual thing about seahorses is the way they reproduce. The male carries the eggs in a pouch for a length of time until the eggs hatch and then he expels the babies into the water. When they mate, the female deposits the eggs into the male's pouch through an ovipositor. It's like a little tube that deposits them into his pouch. It's actually kind of difficult. If you watch them do it, you're amazed that they get any in there. Because, a lot of times, I find eggs on the bottom of the aquariums, because they miss, or the male rejects them for some reason. Even though the male holds the eggs in his pouch, the female actually expends more energy to produce the eggs than the male does just to hold them. So, sorry ladies - we still do most of the work.To hear about our new CD, please visit pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.