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#147 Estuarine or River Pipefish

Critically Endangered

These are a little fish, only about 4 inches long. They hide in the eelgrass of brackish estuaries in South Africa. They have lost much of their habitat through floods, droughts, and dams. Now they are thought to be restricted only to the estuary of Bushman River. There was talk back in 2018 of setting up a captive breeding program, but as far as I've found, nothing came of it. They were described in 1963, but weren't seen again until 1996, by which time they'd been classified as extinct for 2 years already! They were thought another time to go extinct, but were again found. Hopefully they are so good at hide-and-seek, that even though they are rarely seen, they might be doing better than believed.

Pipefish don't have teeth, they just suck their food in. I have pretty good teeth thankfully. I had braces as a kid, and had my wisdom teeth out when I was in my 20's. That was a bad experience. Before one of my seizure medications I had reddish hair. I also had lots of it, which I don't have now either. Redheads react differently to pain type medications. Unfortunately that meant that in spite of having shots multiple times, more than he had ever given anyone before, I still felt everything with 3 of the 4 wisdom teeth. He had me wait for a long time, but I wanted to get out of there and do something else, so I told him just to remove them and I'd deal. The one that was a problem was the one they had to cut in half. Yeah, it hurt, but the worst part for me was that half of it fell back into my throat and I started choking. I had to shove the doctor and the nurse out of the way so I could sit up and cough it out. That was scary. Finally by the 4th tooth I started getting some numbing, but it never totally got numb. Beyond that, I've never had any problems with my teeth. I know that I'm very lucky, a whole lot of people even just my age have a ton of trouble with their teeth. I'm especially lucky because for the longest time I used to eat ice...a symptom of anemia.

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