Pipefish Week campers examined plankton (a favorite food of the pipefish) under a microscope. 

Pipefish Week campers examined plankton (a favorite food of the pipefish) under a microscope. 

Close relatives of the seahorse, pipefish are good at things like blending in among the seagrass blades, slurping up food with their long, fused jaws, and adapting to salty surroundings. Campers enrolled in Suck It Up, Pipefish Week at Sanibel Sea School spent the week studying these somewhat strange, definitely fascinating creatures.

Seining for pipefish in the seagrass bed was a favorite activity among participants. 

Seining for pipefish in the seagrass bed was a favorite activity among participants. 

Like seahorses, pipefish have narrow, toothless mouths, so participants practiced slurping up food through straws during a Jello-slurping relay race. Campers also seined for pipefish in their natural habitiat, the seagrass bed, and played camouflage games to understand just how talented pipefish are when it comes to hiding from their predators.

Campers showed their team spirit with face paint in their surfboard paddling team colors. 

Campers showed their team spirit with face paint in their surfboard paddling team colors. 

Other activites included making seagrass art, a pipefish scavenger hunt, and an exciting courtship dance battle, since pipefish perform elaborate courtship rituals. As usual, there was also plenty of time for knot-tying, surfboard paddling, and making new friends.

Nine-armed sea stars made a guest appearance during Pipefish Week. 

Nine-armed sea stars made a guest appearance during Pipefish Week. 

Sanibel Sea School is a 501c3 nonprofit whose mission is to improve the ocean’s future, one person at a time. To learn more, visit sanibelseaschool.org. 

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