Sunday, June 6, 2010

My visit to the Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm! [pic heavy]

Hello loves! I meant to share this earlier but somehow forgot about it :P I recently went to the Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm in Kailua Kona! Here's a little blurb from the website:

"Ocean Rider is the first and only seahorse farm in the world dedicated to preserving the endangered seahorse with the worlds only living gene bank of live, breeding seahorses and seadragons housing over 30 species here on our 3 acre oceanfront farm at Keahole Point, Kona."

Here's some shots I took while I was there. They're kind of out of order though :P
These were big tanks fuuuull of seahorses. Apparently, seahorses normally mate for life. If their partner dies, the living seahorse usually gets depressed and dies. However, these seahorses are polygamous! They hang out in bunches of 3-4 and there's usually one seahorse that drages the others around by their tails :P It's cute when you see just two, holding tails and swimming together : ) They seem to have individual personalities too. Some even come up to the surface of the water to check you out!

I got to hold a seahorse! They are squishy :D

There were some touch ponds where you could handle some other interesting sea creatures... I think this is a Pillow Starfish.

Some cool fish

And there were smaller aquarium tanks with other fish in them.
Clownfish! They are sooo cute : )

A Frogfish.
This is seriously the most bizarre creature I have ever seen. Very creepy.

A pipefish

Aaaand now for the pictures of seahorses! :D
Sorry, I didn't really take note of the names of the types of seahorses.

These are dwarf seahorses. Uber tiny little guys!

Aaand I don't know what the rest of these seahorses are, but they're all awesome XP

The farm breeds seahorses in a controlled environment free of parasites and pathogens, for selling as pets, to responsible owners. This way, they are protecting the dwindling population of wild seahorses and their habitat. However, they do not sell to people in Hawaii in order to prevent release into the ocean. The seahorses are sold in pairs for $200.

To learn more about the seahorse farm and these amazing little creatures, go here! Tickets are kind of up-there at $35, but I think it's worth it. It was quite an awe-inspiring and enlightening tour that brought to light the importance of conservation and care for seahorses. There were great opportunities for pictures, of course. You get to see itty bitty baby seahorses, their parents, what they eat (sea monkeys!), big tanks full of seahorses, and smaller tanks with other ocean fishies and a wide variety of different seahorses, you can eat from a limu (seaweed) "salad bar," and you even get to touch some sea creatures and hold a seahorse at the end! ^.^ The organization is non-profit and all ticket and gift shop sales go towards supporting the seahorse farm. Overall, it was an amazing experience!

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