Monday, July 16, 2012

Monterey Bay Aquarium Part 3: Seahorses

I've finally got to the point where I can show off the pictures from my favorite exhibit in the aquarium. I've always had a fascination with seahorses. I'm sure part of that is due to the fact that they are called seahorses and also "seaponies" in the My Little Pony cartoon probably helped. I just think the bodies are interesting looking. They don't look like they have any soft tissue at all.

The exhibit had several different kinds of seahorses and their kin, but due to the lighting of the different tanks some of them were easier to photograph than others. I've always liked the solid yellow/orange seahorse but I was surprised to find so much variety with dots and spots. I think this is a female "longsnout" a variety which supposedly change colors from orange/yellow to pink/white  during courtship.

This little guy was one of my favorite seahorses. He's not quite so sparkly looking to the naked eye so I was really surprised when I saw the full sized photos later. I'm not sure what the "pearly" looking part of his skin is, but I thought it made him look a bit royal.

I just happened to be in the right spot photographing the seahorse above when another seahorse joined him and made a great photo opportunity for me. The yellow horse was rotating so I only had a split second to take the photo. I wish some parts were just a little sharper, but overall I was so happy to see this and catch it on "film".

This is my absolute favorite picture from the aquarium. The seahorse fills the frame in a dynamic way, the dark blue makes the yellow/orange of the body pop a bit, and the markings on the seahorse just look cool. I even like the bit of blur on the upper fin as if gives just a little sense of motion to the image. 

The leafy seadragon is a relative of the seahorse. They swim horizontally, unlike the seahorses and I think they have some of the coolest camouflage around. The seadragons are rather large and when two of them are together they just look like a tangled mess of plant life. I could probably sit and watch these guys all day because I find them really fascinating.

I hope you liked the seahorse pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them! I've taken a trip back to the botanical garden this weekend to make use of my snazzy new membership and I may have some fun hummingbird pictures to share.


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