You just never know what rare and wonderful things you’ll encounter in Las Vegas. And, no, we’re not just talking about the go-go dancers.
A few weeks ago, we were strolling through Caesars Palace, and inquired about the namesake of the resort’s popular Seahorse Lounge. We wondered if there were any actual seahorses in the bar’s aquarium. We were disappointed to hear there weren’t.
Just two weeks later, however, we inquired again, and lo and behold, seahorses! Yes, this Las Vegas blog has that kind of pull. And that’s the story we’re sticking to.
We took the opportunity to visit, and barrage with questions, two of the Aquarists responsible for the care of these curious creatures, Keely and Chantelle.
Chantelle and Keely have an interesting gig: They maintain several aquariums around Caesars Palace, including those in the hotel’s high roller suites. They also take care of the hundreds of goldfish at Bejing Noodle No. 9. (There were 1,800 when the tanks were originally stocked.)
In the case of the Seahorse Lounge, they get to swim with the fishes. Which, we should point out, may have had a completely different meaning in the early days of Sin City. But let’s move on.
These intrepid Aquarists maintain and clean the aquariums (including plumbing), and monitor the well-being of the diverse sea life within.
We caught Chantelle doing the diving duty on the day we visited, and of course, we got some video of the seahorses doing what they do.
Our favorite part: The seahorse that’s using the stream of bubbles as a treadmill. We’re not making this up. Chantelle and Keely say it’s not uncommon for the seahorses to line up for a chance to take a ride.
Keely loaded up our somewhat limited brain with fascinating facts about seahorses, some of which we actually remember.
There are currently 13 seahorses at the Seahorse Lounge. There are 53 species of seahorses, and we’re fairly sure Keely told us which ones are in the Seahorse Lounge aquarium. Our best bet for the breeds at Caesars are a hippocampus kellogi and kuda hybrid and hippocampus erectus. Although, we are a Las Vegas blog, not a marine biologist.
We do know “hippocampus” comes from the Ancient Greek “hippos” meaning “horse,” and “kampos” means “sea monster.” These little buggers are anything but monsters, though. They’re docile and spend most of their time chilling at the bottom of the tank, hanging onto plants.
All the seahorses in the tank are females. From what we hear, it’s best not to let males and females hang out, because seahorses are prolific breeders. Hey, they live in a hotel lounge in Vegas, what do you expect?
On the breeding front, we were surprised to learn that in seahorse land, males carry the babies, in something called a “brood pouch.” Females deposit about 1,500 eggs in the pouch, and a few weeks later, bam, baby seahorses. “Bam” is probably not the technical term.
Seahorses at Caesars are fed, twice a day, something called “micro shrimp.” Again, it’s Vegas, so shrimp are kind of part of the deal.
Come to find out, seahorses change color to blend in as a defense mechanism. See, we did take notes.
The aquarium expects to get more seahorses soon, specifically, some hippocampus ingens. This breed can grow to be a foot tall. All the seahorses at Caesars are captive bred (never taken from the wild).
Caesars Palace is the only place in Vegas that has seahorses on public display, and during our drop-in, they were drawing quite a crowd. Make sure to add the aquarium at the Seahorse Lounge to your list of Things To Do in Las Vegas. This blog loves it some free things to do!
Special thanks to Keely and Chantelle, Caesars Palace’s own seahorse whisperers, for taking the time to show off these incredible creatures. If you have any questions for them, feel free to post them in the Comments section, and we’ll pass them along.