With Fathers Day last weekend, I thought that writing about seahorses would be a good idea, since they it is the males who incubate the eggs until they hatch. Seahorses are quite mysterious and although they are relatively easy to breed in captivity, we still don’t know everything about them. The Audubon Aquarium is trying to change that through a unique research project. If you look closely in the seahorse exhibit of the aquarium, you can just see that all of the resident seahorses have been tagged with a necklace of sorts, which identifies the seahorse using a three digit number. “Seahorses subtly change color based on mood and surroundings, making individuals quite difficult to tell apart,” said Audubon Aquarium aquarist Joshua Tellier. “These tags will help us keep records of related animals, animal origins, gender and age.” Recent studies suggest that certain populations of seahorses are declining, and tagging the seahorses may help scientists understand why. “And long term, we may not only get a better idea of how long seahorses live in captivity, but, over time, how seahorses in general go about their lives,” said Tellier. “By allowing us to track individual seahorses and attach meaningful information to specific animals, I cannot even speculate what kind of information we will discover, but I do think that it will be interesting to look back in three years and see interesting trends that we didn’t know about before.”

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