By Helen Scales
A interesting trip with the ocean creature that has captured human mind's eye for millions of years
Poseidon?s Steed trails the seahorse via secluded waters around the globe in a kaleidoscopic background that mirrors man?s centuries-old fascination with the animal, sweeping from the reefs of Indonesia, during the again streets of Hong Kong, and again in time to old Greece and Rome. over the years, seahorses have surfaced in a few not going locations. We see them immortalized within the ornamental arts; in tribal folklore, literature, and old fable; or even at the pages of the earliest clinical texts, prescribed to regard every thing from epidermis lawsuits to baldness to flagging libido. Marine biologist Helen Scales eloquently indicates that seahorses are certainly fish, even though scientists have lengthy wondered over their unique anatomy, and their very unusual intercourse lives?male seahorses are the one men within the animal international that have childbirth!
Our first seahorse imaginings seemed six thousand years in the past on cave partitions in Australia. the traditional Greeks referred to as the seahorse hippocampus (half-horse, half-fish) and despatched it galloping throughout the oceans of mythology, pulling the ocean god Poseidon?s golden chariot. The seahorse has even been the guts of a modern day overseas artwork scandal: A two-thousand-year-old winged seahorse brooch used to be plundered by way of Turkish tomb raiders and offered to the Metropolitan Museum of paintings in New York.
A ebook that's as fascinating because the seahorse itself, Poseidon?s Steed brings to existence an aquatic treasure.
Seahorses lead quiet lives, tucked away out of sight at the seafloor. it truly is infrequent to capture a glimpse of a seahorse in its usual habitat. yet whether few have noticeable one stay, those unique, doubtless prehistoric creatures exist really vividly in our imaginations and so they have mesmerized scientists, artists, and storytellers all through time with their otherworldly rarity.
Poseidon?s Steed is a sweeping trip that takes us from the coral reefs and seagrass meadows of Indonesia the place many seahorses makes their normal habitat to the again streets of Hong Kong the place a thriving black marketplace seahorse exchange is hid. all through background, seahorses have surfaced in a few unforeseen areas and Scales additionally follows the seahorse again in time, from our such a lot rudimentary seahorse imaginings six thousand years in the past on cave partitions in Australia, to the myths of old Greece.
Scientists have lengthy wondered over seahorses? strange anatomy and their very unusual intercourse lives. And male seahorses are the single men within the animal international that have childbirth! Seahorses aren't what scientists name a ?keystone? species. They depend on a fit ocean to outlive, however the marine surroundings doesn't depend upon them. yet their gentle good looks reminds us that we depend at the seas not just to fill our dinner plates, but additionally to feed our imaginations.
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Extra info for Poseidon's Steed: The Story of Seahorses, From Myth to Reality
A brief hole tube emerges from the feminine, which she pushes into a gap in her partner’s stomach. The couple elevate their heads and arch their backs because the woman shoots an egg-laden liquid into the male. Copulation is perfunctory, taking simply six or seven seconds. while the male is complete with a invaluable shipment, he wanders off, his vivid mating gown already fading. He sways and wiggles his physique, settling the eggs into place the place they'll stay for the following few weeks, starting to be in a safe inner pond. 15 The strangest factor approximately seahorses is that male seahorses are the one men on the earth who've experienced—firsthand—the agonies of childbirth. except not going Hol lywood videos, men by no means get pregnant. other than, that's, for seahorses. Admittedly, there are lots of fathers who do a superb activity of assisting out with the kids. In jap Australia’s rain forests, tadpoles of the marsupial frog wriggle into designated pouches slung on their dad’s hind legs. Six weeks later, out hop the subsequent iteration of absolutely shaped miniature frogs. sixteen those, and lots of different being concerned males—including the pipefishes and seadragons—undoubtedly deserve compliment for his or her efforts, yet in simple terms male sea horses develop into really pregnant, nurturing their younger inside of their our bodies, supplying them with meals and oxygen, whisking away waste items. this is often the entire extra extraordinary once we examine that being pregnant is an extraordinary prevalence in fish, even between women. these days, while humans first listen approximately seahorse men getting pregnant, the query that obviously follows is “so what makes them male, then? ” effectively, the answer's sperm. the elemental and loyal distinction among women and men of any species is the way in which they go on their genes to the subsequent iteration. women produce huge intercourse cells (or gametes) which are motionless and dear on power; gents, however, make gametes which are small, cellular, and peculiarly reasonable. a call among around eggs or tadpole-like sperm is largely all that separates lady from guy, doe from dollar, mare from stallion, etc. regardless of one of these transparent definition of “male” as opposed to “female,” it took marine biologists many years to appreciate what used to be happening with seahorse intercourse. It used to be the traditional Greek thinker Aristotle within the 3rd century BC who first wrote in regards to the strange reproductive behavior of the Syngnathidae family members. In his booklet at the background of Animals, Aristotle went into awesome aspect at the lives of many fish species that he encountered whereas staying at the Mediterranean island of Lesbos. between his descriptions is an unmistakable account of the spawning habit of the needlefish recognized additionally, he wrote, because the pipefish:The pipefish, as a few name it, whilst the time of parturition arrives, bursts in , and the eggs get away out. For the fish has a diaphysis or cloven development below the abdominal and stomach (like blind snakes) and after it has spawned by means of the splitting of the diaphysis, the perimeters of the break up develop jointly back.