Earth Day Series (4) -Seahorses & Marine Conservation
April 22nd is Earth Day. This week April 16-22, I will be sharing with you ideas and projects to help create better awareness of environmental issues and develop a much deeper empathy for other earthlings be they winged, finned or legged. Hopefully, there will be more interest to commit to help care for the home we share- planet Earth.
Today’s Topic: Seahorses & Marine Conservation
Today’s Project: Making a Seahorse Mobile (reusing formula milk can aluminum foil seals)
What are seahorses?
Seahorses have a horse-like head, monkey-like tail, and kangaroo-like pouch. Their eyes are like a chameleon’s. They move independently of each other and in all directions. Instead of scales, seahorses have thin skin stretched over a series of bony plates that are visible as rings around the trunk. Some species also have spines, bony bumps, or skin filaments protruding from these bony rings. A group of spines on the top of the head is called the coronet because it looks like a crown.
While seahorses appear to be very different from other fishes in the sea, they belong to the same class as all other bony fish (Actinopterygii), such as salmon or tuna.
Seahorses are members of the family Syngnathidae (sing-NATH-i-day) from the Greek words syn, meaning together or fused, and gnathus, meaning jaws. They share this family with fish like the pipefish. Seahorses alone belong to the genus Hippocampus, from the Greek words for horse (hippos) and sea monster (campus).
Seahorses are masters of camouflage, changing colour and growing skin filaments to blend in with their surroundings. Short-term colour changes may also occur during courtship displays and daily greetings. Male and female seahorses can be told apart by the presence of a brood pouch on the male.
Seahorses are flagship species, charismatic symbols of the seagrasses, mangroves, coral reefs, estuaries and seaweeds where they make their homes. Protecting seahorses means protecting these diverse habitats all of the marine life that lives therein.
Click here to find answers to frequently asked questions about seahorses. For example: Are seahorses fish?
And Its Holistic Approach to Marine Conservation
Project Seahorse finds marine conservation solutions by understanding interdependencies between marine life and human communities. Concentric pressures bear down on individual animals, making an “onion world” in which each layer affects the others. Biological seahorse research is at the centre and they progress outward from there through marine populations, ecosystems, fishing communities, national and global trade issues, policy and public outreach.
Through its work,the Project Seahorse team
(led by Dr. Amanda Vincent):
Secures the world’s shallow seas
Cleans up fisheries
Makes trade sustainable
Learn More About Project Seahorse
Ocean Conservation Facts & Tips
Vast as they seem, the oceans – and the fate of their marine fish, turtles and other wildlife – is in our hands. Oceana offers simple ways to help.
Making a Seahorse Mobile
aluminum foil seals
(from formula milk can)
other crafting components
*If you have no foil seals to reuse,
just reuse some cardboard. Just skip steps 3 and 5.
Step 1- Make a pattern of a seahorse
and trace it on the foil.
Step 2- Cut the foil using the pattern,
leaving a tiny allowance for folding.
Step 3- Fold the foil edge over all the way around so that no sharp edges are exposed. I used pliers and a bone folder to help me with this step.
Step 4- Draw the details of the seahorse
using a fine marker.
Step 5- Using a ball-point pen, apply pressure while tracing design details of each seahorse
to create a tin art look.
Step 6- Paint at least two coats of base colour
on both sides.
Step 7- Paint design details on both sides.If you want both sides to look identical, work on the front first then take a picture for your reference while working on the other side. Optional:For a glossy finish: apply a coat of Modge Podge(gloss-lustre).
Step 8- Using a needle tool, punch a tiny hole by tail and another one by the crown. This hole is where you pass the yarn.
Step 9- Knot all three pieces together.
Step 10- You may enhance your design by adding beads or other crafting components in between seahorses.
In my sample, I added small bells.
Step 11- Add a key ring at the very top of the mobile
Your seahorse mobile is now ready for hanging.
May this be a constant reminder
to help care for our seas & oceans.
“Take nothing but pictures.
Leave nothing but footprints.
Kill nothing but time.”