Absolutely captivating creatures, seahorses seem like a product of myth and imagination rather than of nature. They are small, elusive, and are named for their heads, which are shaped like miniature ponies with tiny snouts. They swim slowly upright by rapidly fanning their delicate dorsal fin, coil their tails to anchor themselves in a drift, and spend days in a dancing courtship. Afterward, it is the male who carries the female’s eggs in his pouch and hatches the young. Seahorses are found worldwide, and they are highly sensitive to environmental destruction and disturbance, making them the flagship species for shallow-water habitat conservation. They are as ecologically important as they are beautiful.
Seahorses celebrates the remarkable variety of seahorse species as well as their exquisiteness. 57 species, including seadragons and pipefish, are presented in lush, life-size photographs alongside descriptive drawings, and each entry includes detailed and up-to-date information on natural history and conservation. Sara Lourie, a foremost expert on seahorse taxonomy, presents captivating stories of species that range from less than an inch to over a foot in height, while highlighting recent discoveries and ecological concerns. Accessibly written, but comprehensive in scope, this book will be a stunning and invaluable reference on seahorse evolution, biology, habitat, and behavior.
Masters of camouflage and rarely seen, seahorses continue to be a fascinating subject of active research. This visually rich and informative book is certain to become the authoritative guide to these charming and unusual wonders of the sea, beloved at aquariums the world over.
About the Author
Sara Lourie is a research associate with Project Seahorse. She has identified multiple new pygmy seahorse species and is the author of several books and articles on seahorse taxonomy.
“Seahorses are the most un-fishlike of all fishes, with their horse-like heads, prehensile tails, and near absence of fins. This guide covers every one of the 42 known species of seahorses, plus 15 additional relatives, including the seadragon. In addition to beautiful color photographs of all but the rarest species, the descriptions nicely summarize what is known about the distribution, reproduction, and identifying characters of each. The really striking feature, however, is an elegantly simple one: inclusion of a life-sized shadow/silhouette of each species. It is rather astounding to see that some of the pygmy seahorses are literally no larger than the average housefly! . . . Highly recommended.”