Laguna Shores Resort – Sea Horse
Sea-Horse-ing around on the beach at Laguna Shores Resort!
By Lannette Phipps
Walking down the beach the other day, as I often do, I came across a true treasure. I have only found two of these creatures in all of my 17 years here in Rocky Point, Mexico and I have combed every beach within 40 miles of Peñasco. My second “Hippocampus”, or seahorse, is in perfectly preserved condition and will adorn my walls in a shadow box or perhaps he (or she) will make it into my favorite shell collection jar. I’ve never known much about the seahorse so decided to do a little digging and here are some interesting things I found.
The name Hippocampus comes from the ancient Greek hippos meaning “horse” and kampos meaning “sea monster”. Though not necessarily fragile, the seahorse is definitely the target of many predators, so it likes to live in sheltered areas where they use their tail to hold onto sea grass, seaweed, etc. to remain stationary to feed or rest. They do not have many natural predators as they are bony and spiny and not very tasty though some crabs and other sea creatures find them delicious. What may be most interesting about these tiny sea denizens is that the male seahorse is the one that gives birth. The female lays her eggs – as many as 1,500 – in the male’s “brood pouch” where they are fertilized. The male tends to the eggs (basically just carrying them) until they hatch into tiny, tiny seahorses. The female, nor male, nurtures the babies after they are born so, as you can imagine, their survival rate is very low, becoming food for larger predators and being swept away from ideal feeding grounds.
Here are some seahorse facts you may not have known…
- Seahorses are classified as bony fish
- They breathe using gills
- They have pouches like marsupials
- The male seahorse gives birth
- They swim upright
- They each have a distinct coronet on their head
- They are used for medicinal purposes
- Their eyes can move in different directions
- They eat by sucking in food through their snout
- They do not have stomachs
- They can change colors to mimic their background
- They swim very poorly and may reach a top speed of 5 ft. per hour
- The species range in size from 0.6” to 14”
- They have no teeth or stomach
I find them to be true treasures and consider myself lucky to be able to comb the beach at Laguna Shores Resort every day to see what the tide brings me. I have found some fascinating shells along the resort shores at high tide and at low tide there is a whole other world of shells and oddities that awaits my arrival. One great things about the beach out here is that the low-density housing means the resort is not jam-packed with people who have picked over my beach year after year (yes, I did say “my beach”) so there are still plenty of beautiful shells to be found. When beachcombing, please get in the habit of taking away only your best shells. Your immediate thought is probably to snatch up every decent shell you come across, but as you will see as you walk down the beach, there are much better ones. So, throw back the not-so-great-ones and keep only the best. I still, to this day, sometimes snap up more than I should, but I have a “Free Willy” bag at home where I store all the throwbacks until I release them back into the ocean. Happy shelling!
This article is brought to you by Laguna Shores Resort, a master planned oceanfront community on the Sea of Cortez in Rocky Point, Mexico. They are located just off of the Coastal Highway, north of town, and offer fractionals, condos, homes and lots for sale as well as custom home building services. Laguna Shores Resort is like no other master planned community in the area with their many amenities and underground utilities. Come out and take a tour – you will be pleasantly surprised. Ask about their Lifetime Vacation Plan – the smart way to vacation. Visit their website at www.lagunashoresresort.com and like them on Facebook to see current vacation rental specials and drawings for vacation packages and a fractional ownership.