As human beings, most of us realize that attitude is the actuator of potential. Meaning, our abilities are often wasted on us. Animals on the other hand, along with members of our own species cheerful enough to overcome their handicaps, provide the best example of doing a lot with very little.
Right now there are so many starlings flocked in Walla Walla. It's a juvenile sort of "micro flock" but multiple hundreds of chicks.
Starlings get very fat when they expect a tough winter. These were the largest juveniles I've seen of the species.
But then on twitter, someone posted a photo of seahorses. Because these animals are so funny and beautiful , i googled "seahorse intelligence" and found a pretty amazing writeup by a seahorse owner who happens to also be a doctor.
The article reads like a piece about Spiritwind's farm. All the seahorses have names and personalities. I am not sure why humans often grow up so desensitized to the incredible individuality of animals. We live and die according to our individual natures, in this way brought ultimately together by our differences; this is diversity.http://www.dfs-pet-blog.com/2009/11/sea ... rsonality/
by DRS. FOSTER AND SMITH on NOVEMBER 2, 2009
Impolite-Seahorse **Guest post from Felicia M.**
It’s hard to think of fish as having personalities or being interactive. Before I had seahorses I thought they were neat looking, but I just assumed they sat around and didn’t actually DO anything all day. After caring for my seahorses for over a year now, I feel they are “pets” more so than any other fish I’ve ever kept. I’m certainly not going to claim that seahorses are intelligent, because, well, they’re not. However, they definitely have what I call personality.
Unlike other fish, seahorses have a prehensile tail they use to hitch themselves to rocks and plants. This strange appendage is what enables their unique, laid-back fish lifestyle. They are able to use their tails to hold perfectly still while hunting. Their tails also make it easy for them to keep in close contact with their friends, as you can see in the photo above. They aren’t in stealth mode all the time, though. They aren’t the best swimmers, but they love to swim, dance, and play.
seahorse on thumb
My favorite seahorse is a little erectus named Kuiter (named after the biologist, of course). I’m convinced that Kuiter recognizes me and knows who I am (the mysis dispenser!). She follows me around as I work on the tank, swimming against the glass as close as she can get to me. Kuiter even likes to hitch on my fingers. I attribute this behavior partly to the fact that she is captive bred. Captive bred seahorses are used to humans and can become very friendly. This has been helpful on a few occasions when I had to handle Kuiter to medicate her. If she wasn’t used to my hands, the stress from the situation could have been fatal.
Inter-seahorse relationships are pretty complex and fascinating. I have two boys, Juniper and Debelius; and three girls, Ellis, Hoover, and you already know Kuiter.
Hoover and Kuiter, the two youngest and smallest females, are best friends and always together. They are the two most playful seahorses, always holding onto each other’s tails. My seahorses seem to enjoy holding tails with each other, like people hold hands. But apparently, it is extremely impolite for a seahorse to hitch on another seahorses’s face, body, or neck. Kuiter has a bad habit of doing this, especially to Hoover. Hoover will shake and buck wildly until Kuiter gets the hint to let go.
Juniper and Ellis, the largest and oldest, are a mated pair. He makes time every dawn to dance with Ellis and strengthen their pair bond. They have a flowing, elegant dance. Juniper turns silver and does pouch crunches while Ellis turns a lovely reddish shade. The two of them circle each other while lifting their heads like trumpets and ascending to the water’s surface. The actual courtship dance is even more elaborate, ending with Ellis depositing eggs into Juniper’s pouch.
Debelius is a young adult male, having recently developed his pouch. Debelius dances with all the girls! He used to dance with Ellis a lot, but realizing he’s no match for Juniper, has turned his attentions lately to Hoover and Kuiter. In my opinion, Debelius is a terrible dancer. His movements aren’t graceful at all. Instead, he turns a yellowish-white color, grabs a girl’s tail (or head, whatever’s available) with his tail, and starts shaking violently. I’ve never seen anyone mate with him, or spend much time around him, so apparently they’re not all that impressed with his dancing skills, either. Maybe he’ll learn some better dance moves from watching Juniper.
This may all sound pretty far-fetched to someone who’s never had seahorses, so if you are a seahorse keeper, back me up! Please leave a comment and tell us about your seahorse’s personality.