AN AMAZING FACT: Few animals God made are more unusual than the seahorse. This bizarre creature is put together like the Mr. Potato Head of the ocean. It has the arching neck and head of a stallion, the swelling bosom of a pigeon, the grasping tail of a monkey, and the color-changing ability of a chameleon. The seahorse has a long, narrow snout like an anteater, and a little mouth to suck up tiny particles of food. It has eyes that pivot independently like a chameleon’s, so that when one eye scans the surface the other can be directed downward. To top off this fantastic composition, the male is equipped with a kangaroo-style pouch from which the little ones are born.
Ranging from one inch to one foot long, the seahorse is the only fish that swims upright! It has a special “gas bladder” that enables it to keep its upright position. Seahorses are classified as fish, but they are very different from other fish because they have no scales, lack teeth, and do not have a stomach. Their food goes directly into their intestines. Their intestines process food inefficiently, so seahorses need to eat almost constantly so they don’t starve.
Most seahorses are monogamous. The male and female dance together for about 10 minutes every dawn, then separate for most of the day to feed. During courtship, the female actively pursues the male until she deposits her eggs in a pouch on her mate’s belly. In the pouch the eggs are fertilized and nourished for 45 days. But the most amazing paradoxical feature of all is when the male seahorse “goes into labor” and gives birth to its young. After a series of paternal spasms in which it appears every muscle convulses, the pouch is emptied and from 40 to 400 baby seahorses are born!
Did you know the Bible talks about seahorses? Well … not exactly. “The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!” was part of the song that Moses and the children of Israel sang after miraculously crossing through the Red Sea and escaping their enemy, the Egyptian army. It was a song of joy and deep gratitude to God.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. Exodus 15:1