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Seahorse brought to Clearwater Marine Aquarium for treatment surprises staff with childbirth

CLEARWATER, Florida – Surprise! After a seahorse was brought to Clearwater Marine Aquarium for treatment, it surprised staff days later by giving birth to hundreds of babies.

On Friday July 23, a Good Samaritan came across a seahorse floating in the waves and brought it to the CMA for treatment. Upon admission, the CMA vet confirmed that the hippocampus had an over-inflated swim bladder and released the trapped air.

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 monitor both the father and his babies to make sure they are healthy and have access to adequate nutrition. As babies continue to grow and develop more independence, they will become candidates for release.

The area experiences high levels of red tide, which is toxic to marine life. For this reason, seahorses will be taken into consideration when determining a release date.

Facts about seahorses:

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


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