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Ever see a seahorse give birth?

Ever see a seahorse give birth?

I have not. I have seen pregnant seahorses in the wonderful aquarium at Moody Gardens. They are in a cool, quiet environment where they swim gently in the seagrasses. Interesting that it’s the males who carry the eggs and give birth. "Depending on the species, seahorses can deliver from five to more than 1,000 babies at a time. Unfortunately, only about five out of every thousand survive to adulthood. The babies are so tiny that they can’t eat the same plankton food as their parents, so their choices are limited."

Sea life is amazing! There is something for everyone. When my marine biology major daughter went to Texas A&M-Galveston, it seemed that everyone loved the dolphins. Not my rebel: she was all about the sharks, had been since she was in junior high school and learned they couldn’t develop cancer, even if live cells were injected into them. She fell off the “sharks are the best” bandwagon briefly when a classmate did not survive an attack by a great white shark off the coast of Australia but came to terms with it when she realized he died doing what he loved.

My youngest granddaughter is all about the crabs. A local restaurant – Gaido’s – has a huge fiberglass one on their roof along with a sign “CAUGHT IN GALVESTON BAY”. At first she was afraid but after I told her I’d bop him in the nose if he hurt my baby, she’s decided she likes crabs, wants to pet one, and wants them to be her friend. She also loves The Beast before he transforms into the prince and The Grinch so I’m afraid she’s going to be one of those girls who has a thing for bad boys!

Goosey Lucy has always been drawn to the water. When she was still a toddler, she’d tell me everything that lives in the ocean. Lucy loves the aquarium, likes to sit in the walkthrough with sealife swimming all around, pet the stingrays and poke the jellyfish. While she gets excited when she sees dolphin off shore, she really goes for the more unconventional, more exotic, like belugas, narwhals and of course her beloved jellies. She’s on an adventure now to SeaWorld and I’m sure when she’s back, it will be the orcas that have her attention.

As for me? I’m all about the sea turtles, even volunteered for a while with the patrols looking for Kemp’s Ridley nests on our beaches. The turtle life is not an easy one. Sea turtles are mighty creatures, defying all odds to just emerge from the nest, make it to the surf, swim hundreds of miles to the place in the Atlantic where they will grow up, then return to the beach where they were born to dig their own nests. Talk about survivors! They evade their natural predators, like sharks, then are challenged by human carelessness: oil spills, harvested for their meat, being caught in fishing and shrimp nets, ingesting discarded fishing line or the remnants of balloons that have found their way over the sea, usually by balloon releases. What goes up must come down. Balloons are such a hazard that Galveston has banned balloon releases on the island.

My friend Suzy (who is also my hero because she lives her truth and followed her dream) had a nose to nose encounter when she stumbled on a nesting leatherback in the Tortugas. Suzy crouched behind a lavender bush so she wouldn’t disturb the turtle. The turtle’s eyes were covered in tears, blurring her vision, and she turned to face Suzy, coming with just a few inches of Suzy’s face. Suzy lived my dream.

If you’ve not been to Monterey, California, I suggest you make the trip. Not only does the aquarium have superb exhibits, its kelp forest offers an insight into the ecosystem of Monterey Bay. The sea lions playing on the rocks in the bay are not too shabby, either.

Ever seen a seahorse give birth?

Not yet.

But I might.

I’ll keep you posted.

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