During the Seahorse Key Coastal Ecosystems Camp, we seined the seagrass many times and pipefish were a common catch.
Long and slender, like a seahorse stretched to its limits, the pipefish is wonderfully adapted to life in the undersea pastures of the Big Bend Seagrass National Marine Preserve.
Don't be fooled by their "seahorsian" faces, they are voracious predators of all things tasty and tiny in the seagrass.
In the grass, they cling to the blades, and gently sway as the grass does, becoming, for all intents and purposes, just another blade of grass.
... Until tiny fish larvae, or other minuscule things swim close and then they strike with amazing speed.
If amazing camo, body shape, and great predator skills were all pipefish had, ... that would be awesome enough,
but wait ...
|A tiny 2 day old pipefish.|
The adult and his young charges were all released after everyone in the camp had a chance to "ooh" and "awe" over them.
There was a lot of that.
I didn't "ooh", but I'm pretty sure I "awed".