Earth’s Treasure Chest
Wildlife Mural Mosaic

Heather Brewster,


Hanging On

Artist Comments: The seahorse is a member of the pipefish family and there are about 35 known species, ranging in length from 2.5 - 25 cm. They may have many colors, and can also change their color to camouflage themselves among the plants. They live in warm, shallow water and wind their tails around plants to make sure they are not swept away by the current. Seahorses live on plankton, brine shrimp and small fish and they have no teeth, so they swallow their food whole. Their eyes can move independently, allowing them to watch for prey without moving. In seahorses it's the male that becomes pregnant; the female deposits her eggs in his breeding pouch where they develop and after two or three weeks he gives birth to the young seahorses. Many species of seahorse are threatened with extinction because of human activities. Their habitats are destroyed by fisheries and they are caught and used as medicine or dried and sold to tourists. They are also caught and sold as aquarium fish, but most do not survive, as seahorses are very hard to keep.

Seahorses in shamanism
In shamanism, seahorses are associated with confidence, grace, joy and the paternal rearing of offspring. More importantly, Seahorse can teach how to hold on in emotionally difficult situations. Like the seahorse, people can learn to anchor themselves and watch the emotional tide flow by instead of being swept along with it