NewsPinellas County


Seahorse brought to Clearwater Marine Aquarium for treatment surprises staff by giving birth

Father gives birth to hundreds of babies
Posted at 4:19 PM, Jul 28, 2021

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Surprise! After a seahorse was brought to Clearwater Marine Aquarium for treatment, he surprised staff a few days later by giving birth to hundreds of babies.

On Friday, July 23, a Good Samaritan came across a seahorse that was floating in the surf and brought it to CMA for treatment. Upon intake, CMA’s veterinarian confirmed the seahorse had an over-inflated swim bladder and released the trapped air.

Just a few days later while under observation, the seahorse gave birth to hundreds of babies.

Seahorse gives birth to hundreds of babies at Clearwater Marine Aquarium

CMA staff is monitoring both father and his babies to ensure they are healthy and have access to proper nutrition. As the babies continue to grow and develop more independence, they will become candidates for release.

The region is experiencing elevated levels of red tide, which is toxic to marine life. Due to this, the seahorses will be under consideration when determining a release date.

Seahorse Facts:

  • Seahorses are truly different not only because of their unusual shape, but also because they are the only species on Earth where the males birth their young.
  • A baby seahorse is called a “fry.”
  • Less than one in a thousand will survive long enough to become an adult due to predators.
  • The swim bladder function is to control buoyancy in the water column.

On Monday, August 2, CMA decided to name the seahorse after Olympic Gold Medalist Bobby Finke.