With the whimsy and heart of The Soul of an Octopus and the surprising details of the very best science writing, The Curious World of Seahorses brilliantly captures the ocean’s most charismatic and mysterious inhabitant.
"When God created the seahorse," says one marine biologist, "he may have had one too many."
Of all the creatures in the ocean, there are none more charming and magical—or more strange—than the seahorses. Masters of disguise, graceful dancers, and romantic lovers, seahorses are found not only in the seagrass meadows and mangroves of the world, but also throughout the annals of human history and culture—surfacing everywhere from chess and Greek mythology to Disney movies like The Little Mermaid and Pokémon games.
Equipped with a pouch like a kangaroo, a long snout like an anteater, and complete with a crown unique as a human fingerprint, the seahorse defies easy categorization. The only fish to swim in an upright position, seahorses are terrible swimmers, but they make up for it with an incredible talent for holding onto seagrass or coral. They have no stomach or teeth—only intestines. Most seahorses are monogamous, and meet with their life partner every few weeks to perform a dance that can last up to nine hours. The most unique aspect of the seahorse is their reproductive cycle, as it is the male of the species who becomes pregnant.
In this entertaining and informative book, science writer Till Hein shares the most tantalizing findings from the world of seahorses, and the role they have played in human culture. He reveals their secrets, from their intriguing biological features and hunting strategy to their use in medicine throughout history, their appearances in Greek and Celtic mythology, and even the medieval belief that they descended from dragons.
Endlessly fascinating and charmingly approachable, The Curious World of Seahorses will captivate any reader looking to learn more about one of the most incredible creatures on Earth.