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Originally published in Creation 16(3):38-40, June 1994 The Creator offers few sights more incredible, and yet more delicately beautiful, than a living seahorse. It swims erect and slowly, with its tail twisting forward to perhaps grip a seaweed frond, while its alert eyes search for food or danger.
seahorses make popular saltwater aquarium pets, and any public aquarium with them draws enthralled groups thronging to watch these elegant fish drifting around their tanks. Sometimes seahorses meet in midstream and tangle their curling tails. Then, just as elegantly, they uncoil them from each other and sedately swim away.
seahorses usually live along the shore, among seaweed and other plants. They have only one mate, and generally don’t travel more than a few metres. Their size varies from about four to 30 centimetres (1 ½–12 inches), and they continue to grow throughout their three years of life.
There are various species of seahorses, including the dwarf seahorse (an Atlantic form smaller than any other), a brown seahorse of Europe, a large brown or blackish Pacific seahorse, and a medium-sized seahorse of Australia.
So unique is the seahorse that it is difficult to accept, as the evolutionists would like us to, that it is the product of purposeless evolutionary forces. In fact, study the seahorse carefully and you find evidence that points to its being wonderfully designed by God the Creator.
Study the seahorse carefully and you find evidence that points to its being wonderfully designed by God the Creator.A protective bony armour cleverly protects it from imminent danger. So strong is this armour that it is almost impossible to crush a dried dead seahorse in your hands. Its tough skeleton makes it unappetizing for predators, so seahorses are usually left alone.
The female is totally enclosed in this protective armour, while the male is similarly enclosed except for the lower part of its abdomen. The armour surrounding its body often shows a number of bony rings.
The seahorse is unique among fishes in that its head is set at right angles to its body. It swims with its body held upright. It can bend its head down or up, but not from side to side. The inability to move its head from side to side would in other creatures create problems, but the Creator in His wisdom has designed the seahorse’s eyes to move independently, swivelling about to watch each side.
The seahorse uses its fins to swim vertically, and rises or sinks by cleverly altering the volume of gas within its swim bladder. If this bladder is damaged, and it loses even a tiny bit of gas, it sinks to the bottom, where it will lie helpless until death.
If the seahorse is the product of evolution, we must ask how this creature managed to survive while its bladder evolved? The whole idea of the seahorse’s complex bladder evolving by trial and error is unimaginable. Clearly, it is more reasonable to believe it was created through the work of the Master Designer.
Probably the most amazing, if not bizarre, aspect of the sea horse is that the male gives births to its live young. This strange phenomenon has been known for only the past century or so.
The male has at the base of its abdomen, where it lacks armour plating, a large skin pouch and a slit-like opening. The female lays the eggs directly into this pouch, where the male fertilizes them as they are deposited.
She may continue laying eggs until the pouch is full, perhaps with as many as 600 eggs. The lining inside the pouch becomes sponge-like and filled with blood vessels which play some part in nourishing the eggs. This is an extraordinary characteristic of the male seahorse. Egg-laying complete, the dad-to-be swims off with his swollen pouch—a living baby carriage.
One or two months later he gives birth to tiny replicas of the adults. The little bundles of joy are squirted out until the pouch is empty. At times dad may use quite forceful muscular contractions to eject the last of his brood. It is an incredible sight when the young pour forth, and the process of giving birth is exhausting for father seahorse. Baby seahorses are not called ‘sea foals’—just ‘young’.
Evolution is at a loss to account for the seahorse’s reproductive functions. The whole process is simply too unorthodox. Indeed, the whole make-up of the seahorse is something of an enigma, if one tries to explain it as a product of evolution. As one authority said some years ago, ‘The “sea horse” is in a similar category with the platypus, as far as evolution is concerned: it presents an enigma that baffles and frustrates all theories that seek to account for it! Admit the Divine Designer, and all is accounted for.’1
Design is evident in the seahorse, but the fossil record is another problem for those who believe seahorses have evolved. The evolutionist needs fossils showing a gradual development of lower animal life into the more complex seahorse to establish that the seahorse is the result of evolutionary processes over millions of years. Unfortunately for the evolutionist, ‘fossil sea horses are unknown’.2
Like countless creatures of the sea, sky and land, there is no link connecting the seahorse to any other form of life. Like all other basic kinds of creatures, the complex seahorse appears to have been created suddenly, as the book of Genesis implies.
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.