Something surprising is happening in our fair river: Conservationists have found seahorses among the muck in the Thames. More exciting, the seahorses are a rare short-snouted breed — Hippocampus hippocampus, for you bio fiends out there — that usually live around the Canary Islands and Italy. Seems like a long way to travel for a horse with no legs.
The little creatures, which normally live in shallow muddy waters, estuaries or seagrass beds, have been spotted on numerous occasions in the past 18 months at Dagenham in east London and Tilbury as well as Southend in Essex. It seems the crafty conservationists were planning to keep quiet about their find, but new laws have given the short-snouted swimmers protected status, so they announced their find.
The best part of the story, other than just knowing these cool little critters are lurking beneath the surface of the Thames, is that it's a sign that the river's water quality is improving and nurturing new life. And though we're not anywhere near ready to take a dip just yet, we're happy to see it's making progress.
Image of what probably isn't a Hippocampus hippocampus from greefus groinks' Flickrstream