#10 The Mysterious Lives of Sea Horses
Seahorses may look small in comparison to the many animals found on a coral reef, but don’t let their small graceful movements fool you: seahorses play an important role in coral reef ecosystems. They have many features that make them particularly unique. In this activity, kids will learn more about the mysterious lives of seahorses and why they are important contributors to the health of coral reefs.
Paint or markers
Googly eyes (optional)
- Watch this short video on seahorses.
- Learn more about seahorses and practice your knowledge by filling in the blanks of this story:
Marsha the seahorse was born on a coral reef in Hawaii. Marsha feeds on organisms that live in on the bottom of the ocean, which makes her a ____________________ on the coral reef. Like other seahorses, Marsha is also potential food for animals such as turtles, seabirds, and marine mammals. This means seahorses are also ________________ for many animals. Unlike other _____________, Marsha and her seahorse friends swim vertically and cannot swim very far. While Marsha might not be a very strong swimmer, she does have her own unique talents. When Marsha needs to sneak up on food or hide from predators she ___________________________ herself by changing her colors to match her surroundings. Being both predator and prey, Marsha and other seahorses play an important role in maintaining healthy __________________________. It is important that we protect seahorses and coral reefs in order to protect the health of our oceans.
- Choose one of the seahorses from these templates to color or paint.
- (Optionally) Ocean Matters partner in Florida, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium has a Seahorse Rehab Webcam with Ruffles the Rescued Seahorse. Don’t miss their daily live streams.
Ocean Matters Connection
Ocean Matter youth did a survey of seahorses for the Hawai’i Institute of Marine Biology in order to help researchers better understand the resident population of seahorses on Coconut Island. By charting the seahorses species, size class and GPS location and monitoring a both the abundance and distribution of a species, we can better meet its conservation needs.
Create your own definitions for the following:
Arcadia Davies, Ocean Matters Youth Advocate Leader, recently graduated from Miami University with an interdisciplinary degree focusing on marine ecology and community engagement. She is passionate about connecting communities, especially youth, in ocean conservation projects. During college she practiced communicating science to the public through serving as the communication intern at The Island School in The Bahamas and taking numerous classes in marine ecology, creative writing, journalism, photography and community engagement. Arcadia has loved the ocean since a young age and strives to share that love with others.