From the Deep Sea

Have you ever seen a horse small enough to hold in your hand?

There really is a creature like this. It is a kind of a fish, and it lives in the ocean. It is called a sea horse.

When the sea horse is swimming along, neck arched and head erect, it looks just like a horse, but that is where all resemblance ends.

Sea horses average five to six millimeters from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail, but most of them are around seven or eight millimeters.

The tail of a sea horse is not at all like a horse’s tail. It is used to coil around objects, or cling to coral, or rooted growths, or shells. It often rests for hours in one place.

The color of a sea horse can vary with changes of temperature and background.

This little horse has no teeth, no mane, and no eyelids.

Something else strange in the life of a sea horse is that the female lays about two hundred eggs during the mating season in spring or summer. Then the male carries these eggs in a pouch for about forty-five days. When the eggs hatch, the tiny sea horses are pushed out of the pouch to swim on their own.

[illustration] Illustrated by Welden Andersen