Sunday, September 27, 2009

Seahorse courtship

Right now, somewhere in the world, early-morning sunbeams pierce through shallow water like spokes of a wheel and cast quivering pools of brightness on the seagrass meadow below. The night shift has ended and diurnal creatures begin to emerge from sleeping hideaways: grazing rabbitfish, bucktoothed parrotfish, and feisty damselfish tending their farms of algae. Two tiny silhouettes come together like a pair of knights on a chessboard. The seahorses greet each other with a nose-to-nose caress and, wrapping their tails around a single blade of grass, they begin a seductive dance, spiraling round and round each other. Blushes of orange and pink give away their emotions and for a moment the seahorses let go of their holdfast and swim together, heads tucked down, tails entwined. A gentle humming and clicking from the male is the sound track to their flirting.

--Helen Scales, Poseidon's Steed: The Story of Seahorses, From Myth to Reality

Even if you don't think an entire book about seahorses will float your boat, be sure to check out Helen Scales's NPR interview.

4 comments:

Kailana said...

This actually sounds interesting... thanks for the heads-up!

Jeane said...

I think I would love to pick this one up. Never read anything about seahorses before, but I've always been fascinated by their looks.

ds said...

I'm with Kailana--this does sound interesting! Will keep an eye out. Thanks!

SFP said...

I'm not halfway through yet and I'm really enjoying it. I think you three will, too.

I'd love a trip down to the zoo in Columbia when I'm done so that I can see the seahorse exhibit there. I wish there were seahorses at Discovery Place here in Charlotte.