Seahorses and Salinity

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Seahorses are normally found in marine environments but are they capable, or have they ever been capable of living in freshwater? A number of species are found in estuaries and can tolerate wide fluctuations in salinity, at least for short periods of time. In Tasmania, the Potbelly Seahorse inhabits the Tamar River estuary which, during flooding, can drop in salinity from normal seawater at 34ppt down to 18ppt. Seahorses are similar to and believed to be closely related to pipefishes of which there are a number of species that live completely in freshwater rivers around the world. Seahorse expert and evolutionist, Rudie Kuiter said: "The presently suggested relationships with the other families (pipefishes, seahorses, seadragons and pipehorses) may seem questionable when only looking at recent species. Such relationships become clearer when fossils are included in the studies of the families, as these are more primitive and less modified than recent species. Some extinct forms represented links between different living groups."(Ref Kuiter R (2003) Seahorses, Pipefishes and their relatives p5. TMC Publishing)

Editorial Comment: From a creationist point of view, it is clear that the original created seahorse/pipefish kind had the genetic capacity to handle a range of salinities. After the flood, seahorses/pipefish continued to reproduce after their own kind, just as God made them to. They diversified and specialised into different environments, some in freshwater and others in marine environments as the oceans increased in salinity. It seems the seahorse lost the capacity to live in freshwater like its ancestors though several species, like the Tasmanian one, maintain a partial tolerance.

Evidence News 13 June 2007

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