Camper Jaime Gustafson runs through an obstacle course to better understand the many challenges faced by male seahorses. 

Camper Jaime Gustafson runs through an obstacle course to better understand the many challenges faced by male seahorses. 

Thousands of seahorses make their home in Sanibel’s vast seagrass forests, but they are so well camouflaged that we rarely see them. During Seahorse Week at Sanibel Sea School, we set out in search of these unusual fish and learned about some of their remarkable habits.

A tiny seahorse found by the causeway islands. 

A tiny seahorse found by the causeway islands. 

In most animal species, the female is responsible for carrying eggs and giving birth to offspring, but it’s the seahorse dad who carries the fertilized eggs after a female delivers them to his brood pouch. To better understand the male seahorse’s parenting challenges, we ran through a seagrass forest obstacle course while trying not to lose or break any of our eggs. “That was impossible,” said camper Nico Palanzi, “I dropped my eggs everywhere!”

Pippa Valenti admires the giant, upside-down seagrass forest campers created for their parents. 

Pippa Valenti admires the giant, upside-down seagrass forest campers created for their parents. 

We also snorkeled and seined near the causeway, where we found plenty of live seahorses to examine up close, went on a seahorse scavenger hunt, and turned our classroom into a giant, upside-down seagrass bed. Parents were invited to “snorkel” through our artwork on Friday morning. As usual, we surfed, tied macramé bracelets, and had a Friday afternoon cookout. It was the last week of camp for many of our campers, who are heading back to school. We wish them all a wonderful school year!

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