Thursday, February 01, 2007

Seahorses get it off

I normally leave things of the natural realm to ‘creepy crawly’ enthusiast, romunov, unless it is the ‘creepy crawly’ things of our social, political cultures.

The long cherished monogamous reputation of Australian seahorses has been soundly debunked by British researchers. Of course it could be a plot by the Poms, but they say they have proof that cute little seahorses are raging tarts who swing both ways!

Mate for life? We have been duped by at least three species according to the English aquarium voyeurs. They have been getting excited over their observations that seahorses are both promiscuous and more than a little bit gay.

They have been watching and are pointing the long bony finger at three seahorse species: the Australian big-bellied, the Caribbean slender and the British spiny.

I know science is quirky, I once had a partner who was into helping fruit flies mate. All in the line of duty I was assured. But these Brits admit to observing more than 3100 sexual encounters, and recorded that 37 per cent were same-sex liaisons and seahorses were found to be flirting with up to 25 potential partners a day.

Now here is the part that starts to ring alarm bells: The Australian seahorse was the most indiscriminate, mating with females and males several times a day. Well I know the Australian male is alleged to think about sex once every three seconds, but seahorses?

Paul Bullimore, a marine curator, said the bisexual activity was "both a great surprise and a shock to many of us" and observations of the big-bellied seahorses indicated they were "indiscriminate and shameless creatures".

Well Paul, with all due respects, why is a grown man watching these little guys getting their rocks off? Is it personal Paul, or is it a plot to further defame your Australian cousins?

The questions have to be asked, in light of the finding: Of the three species studied, only some of the British spiny seahorse were faithful to one partner. But faithful Paul? Or simple not particularly tempting. Cold fish, those Poms.


romunov said...

I guess women aren't enough. I sure wish I had the time to keep sea horses. Too much work and space needed to breed live food (on which they thrive!).

Cartledge said...

Rom, they are fascinating critters.