SCIENCE IN PICS: Thorny Babies Onboard

December 23, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
Epoch Times Photo
Pregnant male thorny seahorse at Seraya in Bali. (Matthew Oldfield)

Thorny seahorses, Hippocampus histrix, inhabit sandy and reef substrates in the Western Pacific.

They can reach up to 15 centimeters (6 inches) in length, and have long pointed spine-like protrusions on their bodies.

Coloring can vary from yellow or green to red, and females tend to be brighter.

The elongate snout often features banding.

These fish typically live in association with sponges and soft corals, wrapping their tails around other objects, including other seahorses, to blend into the background better.

Like other seahorses and pipefish, the female lays her eggs inside the male’s pouch, where they are incubated for a month before live birth.


Matthew Oldfield is a freelance photographer based in Bali, Indonesia, specializing in editorial and documentary images from both above and below the waves. He works primarily with charities, NGOs, and other organizations working to conserve the environment, endangered species, and disappearing cultures.

Matthew is on Twitter @matthewoldfield. More of his photos can be found at

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