Friday, January 29, 2010

The Secret Life Of Seahorses




One of our favorite places to visit is Monterey, California. When winter in the high country begins to feel like sensory deprivation, nothing recharges the spirit like a trip to the ocean. The aquarium in Monterey is a gem. A place that holds fond memories for my family. Many hours of being mesmerized by giant vats of jellyfish that vary between microscopic and giant, a three story aquarium and kelp bed, the joy of petting a bat ray, and watching a wave wash over the top of you. These are just a few of the exhibits and hands-on educational tools this fantastic aquarium offers. The latest is the "Secret Life Of Seahorses." A new one for 2009. Did you know that seahorses have a mating "dance" that looks like the tango? That the male actually carries the eggs and does the birthing? (Which we had the great good fortune to actually witness!)



One of the exhibits I really enjoyed was a "diner" where you are able to sit on a stool, order a fish dish, and have the "cook", "waitress" and "staff person" let you know if your choice is healthy or sustainable  - and why. (A very Disneyland-like experience.) The aquarium even has an I-Phone application to help you decide what to cook for dinner. It will tell you what is safe for different parts of the country. It's helpful when standing at the fish counter trying to remember if Chilean sea bass is okay or if it is so overfished it's in danger of becoming extinct. (The latter.) Or if it is better to eat farm-raised salmon or wild caught. (Again, the latter.) The app is called Seafood Watch, described as a seafood guide, which is free by the way, created by The Monterey Bay Aquarium.

If you get a chance, visit this aquarium. Take your family and friends with you. You won't be disappointed.

30 comments:

Lydia said...

Fascinating and beautiful post! I love seahorses and remember seeing them at Marine World in So. Calif. when I was a kid. I think I've seen them at the aquarium in Newport, OR...must get over there as it's been since Keiko was there when I last visited.

The video is super. The question "Can we help them?" put a lump in my throat. I am concerned about Obama mentioning off-shore drilling in his State of the Union speech. Oh, no, let's not go there, Mr. President...not even as a compromise.

Gemel said...

I adore seahorses.
People are so blind to the other beautiful crreatures we share the planet with, who gave us the right to continue to slaughter millions of them without a second thought just for human greed and progress? Many of us have turned in to barbaric people who never think that all life forms have the right to live a long and happy life. Great post, bless your heart for sharing..

Deborah said...

Well I'm glad to have the wild vs. farm salmon issue clarified! I suspected that wild was better but didn't know for sure. I had to come by after being pulled in by your title, but am determined not to be distracted from my novel-writing intention today. Will take a look at the lovely seahorse video later...Thanks for this Nancy!

Brian Miller said...

wonderful. love to take the boys to the aquarium...and the seahorses are a favorite...

Pam said...

Well, I'm off to see if there is an app for my Blackberry.

The Good Cook said...

I love seahorses! Once, while diving in Curacao, I saw a family of seahorse, each as big as my hand! They were incredible.. I have had the joy of visiting the Monterey Aquarium twice and loved it both times. Thanks for posting about the sea - it brought back some wonderful memories for me on this bitter cold day.

JeannetteLS said...

I went to Monterey once, the first time I went to CA. The woman who'd hired me as a consultant had had me stay at her home, and she and her husband took me on a trip SOUTH from Paolo Alto, and we spent hours in Monterey. I wanted to see the aquarium, but there was so much to see heading south for just a day that we hadn't the chance. I have loved sea horses since I was little and now, more than ever, I'd love to go back. I do remember eating shoreside... I had never had hot flashes and had my first on the plane headed West... We were having a wonderful lunch of mixed grill and an amazing salad and suddenly I felt waves of heat. It was only about 70 (Blessedly warm by February NE standards) so I was a bit concerned. Joyce's husband saw my confusion and he said, "Look above and behind you. You are in a new world here, dear."

The outdoor patio was heated, so we could relax in warmth to read about sustainability and conservation on our OWN menu!

You have made me want to find a documentary clip or something to see the seahorse tango!

Reya Mellicker said...

It is a truly fabulous Aquarium, though I haven't been there in a long time, I remember it vividly - the kelp "garden" is incredible, for instance.

The seahorses are so cute!

Herrad said...

Hi Nancy,
Beautiful post and photos.
I love seahorses too.
They are fine creatures, very brave.
We should protect them.

Please come by my blog and pick up your award.
Love
Herrad

DJan said...

As usual, an interesting post. You are my inspiration. And I agree, going to the ocean is very renewing, which is why we decided to retire there. And my excursions to the different parts of my adopted state continue to amaze me. I'll look for that app.

ellen abbott said...

I've been to the aquarium in Gatlinburg. The jellies were just amazing. Also the little 'sea dragons' (can't remember what they are called) that look like big seahorses with leafy appendages. We have an aquarium in Houston that I have never been to.

GYPSYWOMAN said...

oh, my goodness! what a fantastic image of the little seahorses which i absolutely love! and have always been fascinated with their little selves - what a neat post!!! but now, do i really really want to continue eating little fishes? to eat or not to eat, that is the question!
;)

JC said...

Interesting ...

Meeko Fabulous said...

I love aquariums! I've been thinking about planning a trip to Monterey just to visit their aquarium. :) And I totally knew about male seahorses carrying the eggs.

A Year on the Grill said...

shhh... it's a secret

It is a bit more complicated farm vs wild salmon, it can and is being done responsibly, but the basics are accurate for the majority of farms...

But they are getting better

But why complicate a fine post with accurate information

Jeninacide said...

Seahorses are so CUTE! I am glad to know the answer to the salmon question as well as I always eat WILD hoping that I wasn't OVERFISHING them.

CrazyCris said...

lovely!

One of my favourite scuba diving experiences was seeing "weedy seadragons" in Tasmania... essentially 30cm seahorses!

I've got to start writing my fishy friday posts again, I think the next aquarium was the one with the seahorses in it! ;o)

scarlethue said...

Just got that app. Very helpful!

lakeviewer said...

YES! Let's learn about our seafood.

otin said...

LOL! I guess eating seafood at an aquarium is okay, after all, they eat burgers at the zoo!!!

Rain said...

Oh I love seahorses!!! It's my Celtic birth symbol and I have one tatooed on me! :) Such a great video, thanks for posting that Nancy! :)

ρομπερτ said...

Back in Germany, the seahorse represents also the first "diploma" one is able to obtain, after getting examed upon ones ability to swim.
Being already in seventh grade, have to admit, I wasn't able to. Yet, during summer break learned it in the open sea - which would be the perfect place for them, if life would take a bit more care of it and its content.
Impressive entry of yours,indeed.
Please have you all a wonderful Sunday.

Missy said...

That is so cool!! I love the cafe thing and the app. I will have to see if I can get it on my iphone.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Wow, choosing healthy and safe for the fish. Sounds like quite an experience.

Seahorses always fascinated me. They have quite an interesting story. Don't the males give birth? Gotta like that.

Fireblossom said...

I've loved seahorses ever since I was little. They're so odd and interesting! That such a creature even exists, makes my mind wobble a little.

If I were hauling some priceless treasure up from the depths and a seahorse went by, I would probably drop the treasure and bubble, Look! A seahorse!!! lol @ me.

Jayne Martin said...

I remember visiting the San Francisco aquarium as a child. I've lived in California all my life and never been to the one in Monterey. I'll put that on my must-do list. As a child I was also fascinated by sea horses -- but then, I was in love with anything resembling a horse.

Deboshree said...

Interesting!
I never knew that the males gave birth! I never knew anything about seahorses in the first place!

Thank you for sharing!

Love
Deboshree

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

It's one of my favorite places. I, too, was captivated by the sea horses. They're enigmatic creatures & that video is great!

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