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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hitching a ride

The sun was glorious at seven am this morning. Of course now I been round Dad's and had dinner the sky is grey and the wet stuff is falling.

It's about now my thoughts turn to holidays. Of course none of these will take place until April 2010 at the earliest. Sad muppet that I am I keep thinking I ought to go to places you haven't seen on the blog. Anyway my thoughts will go on the back burner until Christmas as come, the only certainty is I want to go to the Isle of Wight in May - I've never been and there are a 7 or 8 churches on that book list.

Anyway lets talk natrure

You can imagine the surprise of a research team working around the Azores when they found a seahorse Hippocampus erectus that is usually found along the Atlantic coast and Caribbean sea coasts of North, Central and South America.

It's the first record of the species in the Eastern Atlantic.

The scientists are trying to work out how it got there. Well it could have been released from an aquarium or transported in the ballast water of a tanker. However the preferred theory according to Dr Paul Shaw (Royal Holloway, University of London) is that the seahorse hitched a ride across the ocean on a floating raft.

The seahorse attaches itself to some floating material such as seaweed or other vegetation, then this 'raft' is carried by prevailing Gulf Stream currents away from the American coast and across the Atlantic to the Azores


Seahorses have been seen in the middle of the ocean holding on to floating seagrass with their tail so I guess the seahorse off the Azores may have done the same.

1 comment:

Tricia said...

Promising start and disappointing finish to the day!

Fascinating story though. I would like to think that it arrived in the Azores by hitching a lift.. Amazing little creatures.