Baby seahorses will be put on display at Macduff Marine Aquarium as part of a weekend of celebratory events throughout Aberdeenshire with the theme New Year, New You, New Us.
The aquarium is delighted to have successfully raised four baby native spiny seahorses (Hippocampus guttulatus), after their adult male seahorse gave birth for the first time last summer.
A weekend of celebratory events is taking place on January 26 and 27 following the launch of Aberdeenshire Council’s Live Life Aberdeenshire, the new name for the council’s Sports and Culture Services, now being run as a unique business unit.
Macduff Marine Aquarium is joining in the fun by giving visitors the chance to meet the new additions to the seahorse family.
Since June last year, the seahorse babies have been off exhibit in a bespoke nursery tank for rearing seahorse fry. With a one in 2000 chance of survival to adulthood, the baby seahorses have had round the clock attention from the aquarium husbandry team, with special food and an intense feeding regime.
They have grown from around 6mm at birth to 6cm long – although they still have some way to go as the adults are about twice the size.
At nearly seven months old, they are ready to join their parents – to be reunited with their dad and meet their mum for the first time!
Aquarium displays officer, Chris Rowe, said: ‘The success rate for rearing this species of seahorse in captivity is pretty low and we are one of only a few institutions in whole of the UK that have successfully managed to raise some fry to this stage.
‘The youngsters are happily feeding on nutritious brine shrimp and are now accustomed to taking the same food that is on the menu for their parents, so we’re confident they are ready at last to go out on public display. It has been a new experience for us, and a steep learning curve, but we’re chuffed to bits to have succeeded with these little guys.
‘For us it’s a case of New Year, New You, New HippocampUs! We will wait and see if dad gets pregnant again this spring, and if we’ll have a chance to do it all again.’
The young seahorses will be on display at the aquarium from Saturday 26 January. Live Life Aberdeenshire is offering a voucher from the new website for a free adult admission to the aquarium for a limited time.