January 5th, 2008

Resident of Krabi – Yellow Tiger-Tail Seahorse

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Tiger-tailed Sea HorseRinging in good tidings for the new year, a newly immigrated resident to Krabi was spotted by one of our KrabiDivers.com instructors on New Year’s Day. At 4-cm long, he appears pregnant. Yes, “he” was pregnant as the male in this species are the ones to get pregnant and productive!

Krabi, south of Thailand, is the gateway to the famous Andaman Sea where scuba divers and snorkellors from all over the world convene as winter approaches in the western world. Famous for its incredible waters, great visibility and huge variety of dive terrain, Krabi is a must-stop for all nature and water lovers on vacation in Asia. KrabiDivers.com operates the premier scuba-diving and eco-tourism center in the heart of Aonang, the sea-side town of Krabi. Here, you can launch off to the amazing Similans, Richelieu Rock, Phi Phi islands, Phuket and Lanta. And lets not forget the relatively unexplored local Krabi waters where the caves and caverns provide a great underwater adventure. And here is where we found our Tiger-Tailed Seahorse on New Year’s Day!

Seahorses are amazing creatures. The seahorse is one of four families in the syngnathiform family which also includes pipefish, flag-tail pipefish and seadragons. They swim in an upright position with their tails down and their heads up using their dorsal to move forward and pectoral fins for steering control. Also unique for their prehensile tail (able to twist & grasp),tube-like mouth (with no teeth), and small gill openings. Seahorses (like chameleons) can even move their two eyes independently of each other. Ranging in size from the tiny 10mm to 35cm, the largest is the Pacific Seahorse. Seahorses eat small crustaceans which they catch by staying still and lying in wait till their prey comes near, and they snap them up. Then their tube-like mouth creates a vacuum that sucks the prey in and they swallow their food whole.

Sea horses are unusual in a couple of ways. One is that they are monogamous and have long courtship periods when mating. Monogamy is unusual in all animals but particularly among fish. The longer a couple of seahorses stick together, the better they are at producing babies. It is the males of seahorses that carry their eggs in a pouch on his belly, after the eggs have been deposited there by the female. The eggs are fertilised in the pouch and incubated between 10 days to 4 weeks before they hatch. At hatching, the male gives birth to fully developed but tiny little seahorses. The natural lifespan of seahorses is not known, but believed to be from one year for small species to five years for the larger species. Highly elusive and difficult to spot in moving water, finding a seahorse is every diver’s dream come true.

So, you can imagine our absolute euphoria when we spotted the little yellow Tiger-Tail. Being creatures of habit, once settled into a location, they tend not to move too much. Hence, we can find it again and would love to show it to you.

Come dive with KrabiDivers.com and let us take you out to the amazing underwater world of Krabi, Phi Phi, Phuket and Lanta. Or join one of our liveaboards for the Similans Islands. We run fun dive trips daily. Our group of international instructors are available to conduct all scuba-diving courses in English, Italia, Spanish, German, French, Japanese and Chinese. Centrally located at the Sea of Love Plaza (opposite McDonalds) in heart of Aonang, Krabi in Thailand, come visit us if you are planning a trip to Krabi. Or email us for more information info@krabidivers.com. Also check out our website www.krabidivers.com where you will find lots more in store about our adventures.

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