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Aquarists discuss safe breeding of seahorses

Consumer demand puts strain on dwindling wild stocks

Thursday, December 09, 2004
By HANNAH HICKEY / Correspondent, Monterey Herald

In the wild, seahorses are ambush predators, using their tails to cling to coral and their long snouts to suddenly suck in unsuspecting prey. Their unique adaptations -- heads like horses, curled tails and body armor -- make them a favorite attraction for visitors to aquariums worldwide.

But in the aquarium, seahorses can be shy to mate and baby seahorses are finicky, fragile animals requiring specific conditions for survival.

The captive breeding of seahorses was a hot topic of discussion Wednesday at the International Aquarium Congress, a weeklong event for more than 500 aquarium experts at the Monterey Conference Center. Threatened populations are leading aquarists to develop innovative breeding techniques to keep from drawing on wild stock.

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