Our blue backyard is showcase of incredible marine life and habitats that rival any tropical reef in colour and diversity. It changes with the seasons and is a showcase of nature’s finest especially when you least expect it. Enter one of the most spectacular events I’ve seen in all of my years exploring Port Phillip Bay. As I jumped into the waters off Blairgowrie I was greeted by a sea of baby sea ponies swimming about. It was like a thick soup of these delicate little jewels. These baby sea ponies (or fry which is the correct term) measuring a tiny 2-3cm, were all jostling for a position on floating seagrass, each other and anything that floated by. It was clear that a number of male Short-headed Seahorses had all given birth around the time (yes they’re the only males in the animal kingdom to do so and I'm all here for it...) and there was a lot of them, thousands in fact. And there needs to be. It’s a numbers game with the males giving birth to a around 60 babies at a time. Unfortunately most will get eaten by wrasse (which I witnessed) and other predators. The event is synchronised with extremely high tides which help disperse the young. The few that survive will spend the first 2-3 weeks of their life floating around and moving where the currents take them until they eventually settle down on seaweed. It was a memorable and unique experience. It’s part of the magic and lure of our local marine environment, one that I’m incredibly grateful for.
|Copyright:||© Sheree Marris|