Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children
You may have noticed that l do have seahorses living around my lighthouse home.
l thought that this week you might like to hear more about these fascinating creatures. They have really sweet faces and a very distinctive shape.
Obviously they are called sea horses because they have a head shaped just like a horse, but in fact they are really a type of fish. They breathe through gills like any other fish. They have a long snake-like tail which can only bend forwards and they use this to hang on to seaweed or coral so that they don’t drift away in the current while they are at rest.
Unlike other fish, they have their skeleton on the outside of their bodies. This is called an exo-skeleton. lt is made up of bony plates arranged in rings around their bodies and is held together with a fleshy covering; they do not have scales.
Seahorses are very slow swimmers; they rely on the fin on their backs which is called a dorsal fin to propel them along. This fin can beat at 20-70 times a second – depending on which species they are. They also have fins on each side of their head that they use to steer themselves left and right.
Most seahorses are really tiny; the biggest is only fourteen inches tall.
There are two species to be found around the British coast, the Spiny Seahorse and the Short-Snouted Seahorse. There are over fifty species worldwide. lt is not known exactly how many there are because new species of seahorse are being discovered all the time. ln 2006 the rare Short-Snouted Seahorse was found in the Thames Estuary.
Seahorses live in cold and warm seas and sometimes in fresh water too.
They have good eyesight and like the chameleon can move each eye independently so that they have good vision when they are hunting for food, and they can change colour to match their surroundings or in order to communicate with other seahorses. There are many different colour of seahorse; they can be red, yellow, white, black, brown, grey and even stripy and spotty.
They have long snouts which can probe into nooks and crannies in rocks or corals. Mostly though, they just wait for their prey to swim by. They suck up their food because they don’t have teeth to chew it. They don’t have a stomach either. They eat very tiny things like little shrimps or worms; and they eat constantly.
Seahorses like to live in quite shallow seas where there is a lot of seaweed or coral reef, but can move into deeper waters in the winter when they want to avoid rough seas. They are not very good swimmers and cannot cope with being tossed about in strong currents.
lt has been widely thought that seahorses mate for life, but scientists now think this is not true for all species.
Baby seahorses are called fry. Seahorses are the only animal where the male keeps the babies in a pouch on his tummy until they are ready to come into the world. Small seahorses have about fifty to over a hundred babies at a time or as few as five, but the bigger ones can have over a thousand. When seahorses are born they become independent straight away. They are miniature seahorses and are only a few millimetres long.
Less than one in a thousand survive into adulthood in the wild.
Because of human interference many seahorses are under threat.
Over 150 million seahorses a year are taken to make oriental medicine.
About two million more are taken to be sold as dried souvenirs to tourists or sold to the pet trade for aquariums. Wild seahorses do very badly in tanks and most of them don’t survive.
Also pollution and destruction of habitat has meant that several species are threatened with extinction.
So if you want to do your bit for seahorses, don’t encourage the trades that kill them and try to use eco-friendly cleaners in your home so that we can reduce the amount of chemicals that get washed into the rivers and then into the sea.
lf you want to know more about helping seahorses, check out The Seahorse Trust.org website.
Bye bye everyone – don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!
Love and kisses
Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Week
Bob: Where do young seahorses go every morning?
Bill: l don’t know. Where do young seahorses go every morning?
Bob: To the local plaice school!
Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.
Links may be used to www.christina-sinclair.com
Seahorses wrap their tails around weed
These seahorses clearly like each other
Razor fish swim upright too
A lined seahorse
Has he gone to sleep?
Seahorses anchored on the sea bed
This yellow seahorse likes being upside-down
Seahorses often have spines on their bodies like puffer fish
Seahorses have a fin on their back, at the base of their tummies
and one each side of their heads which help them to swim
Seahorses can be many colours
If you want to know more about helping seahorses, check out The Seahorse Trust.org website
Seahorses hang onto seaweed with their tails
Sealife Centres have a breeding programme to try and swell seahorse numbers
THE SALTY SAM NEWS DESK
Bill and Bob have made another puzzle for you this week for the news desk.
They love going to the beach and see lots of things there, so they found it easy to do.
All these words begin with sea – do you know what they are?
- a wind blowing in from the sea = a sea- _ _ _ _ _ _
- a person who travels by sea = a sea_ _ _ _ _
- the art of managing a ship = sea_ _ _ _ _ _ _
- towards the direction of the sea = sea_ _ _ _
- along the coast = sea_ _ _ _
- a type of sea monster = a sea-_ _ _ _ _ _ _
- an object on land which helps sailors know where they are like for example a lighthouse = a sea-_ _ _ _
TO ADVERTISE ON THIS BLOG
This is how to make an ink drawing with patterned panels.
First draw an outline and then divide into sections.
Using a pen draw patterns into the sections but leave some blank.
You could use one colour of ink or felt tip pen or two colours like navy blue and turquoise. You could use shades of orange and yellow or many colours together.
(Other pictures could be used as long as they can be divided into sections.)
BLOW MY FOGHORN!!!
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lt’s the Weekend!
HOW TO MAKE A SEAHORSE VOlD SHAPE EMBROlDERY
Of course this idea for an embroidery design will work for shapes other than a seahorse one – but any shape you choose should be a simple shape that is easily recognizable.
Void means empty space and it is the empty space in the centre of the embroidery that depicts the shape of the seahorse.
- Cut a pattern piece in paper.
- Then draw around it making a faint pencil line onto a piece of fabric that has been placed into an embroidery hoop.
- Using 2 strands of embroidery thread in a colour that contrasts with your fabric, stitch a line of French knots along the pencil guide line. Wrap the thread around the needle 2 times.
- Then start creating knots away from the line dispersing them more widely as you move away from it. This creates a feeling of movement and energy. If you choose to use rainbow thread like the design in the photograph, it will be more difficult to group your colours together but it will create a more interesting picture.
This design would also work as a drawing. You could use pen or coloured felt tips to create a void shape design picture. The dots almost look like air bubbles emanating from the seahorse as it moves through the water.
Whenever you complete a piece of embroidery if you can put it into a frame it will look much nicer.
Cut a piece of thin card the correct size to fit the frame and lace the embroidery onto it. Lace lengthways and across to put it tight against the card.
Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.
It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.
Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.
©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015
Answers to the News Desk Quiz
- a wind blowing in from the sea = a sea-breeze
- a person who travels by sea = a seafarer
- the art of managing a ship = seamanship
- towards the direction of the sea = seaward
- along the coast = seaside
- a type of sea monster = a sea-serpent
- an object on land which helps sailors know where they are like for example a lighthouse = a sea-mark
A sea serpent was a mythical creature
Ink dropped into water randomly creates a horse