By Tyson Facto, Animal Care Professional
Did you know that just like penguins, seahorses are monogamous and mate for life? Their love connection all begins with a dance.
Every day, the male lives in a small area of seagrass beds, patiently waiting for a female to find him. Once they make a connection, they will begin each day with a courtship dance that involves spinning around and twirling together, while interlocking their tails.
When they are ready to mate, the female impregnates the male with up to 1000 eggs! The male will stay pregnant for about two weeks, sometimes holding onto the same piece of grass the entire time. When ready, he will open his pouch and release all 1000 tiny fry into the ocean currents to settle throughout the seagrass beds. These little fry look and act just like their parents, except at about ¼ of an inch tall.
The pair of seahorses will then once again meet up to begin their courtship of dance.
ZooTampa is home to 2 out of the 45 different species of seahorses found around the world- the Dwarf seahorse, Hippocampus zosterae, and the Lined Seahorse, Hippocampus erectus. You can soon find our families of seahorses in Manatee Mangroves realm of the Zoo, in their newly renovated home. It’s easy for your family to come back again and again with a Family Plus Membership – 2 adults, all dependent children + 1 free guest!