hippocamp

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Greek Gold Ring with a Siren, Sphinx and Hippocamp, 6th Century BC

In Greek mythology Sirens were dangerous yet beautiful creatures, portrayed as femmes fatales who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island.

A sphinx was a female monster with the body of a lion, the breast and head of a woman, eagle’s wings and sometimes a serpent-headed tail. She was sent by the gods to plague the town of Thebes as punishment for some ancient crime. There she preyed on the youths of the land, devouring all those who failed to solve her riddle.

Hippocampoi were the horses of the sea. They were depicted with the head and fore-parts of a horse and the serpentine tail of a fish. The ancients believed they were the adult-form of the fish we call the seahorse. Hippocampoi were the steeds of Nereid nymphs and sea-gods. Poseidon drove a chariot drawn by two or four of the creatures.

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HIPPOCAMPUS [aka HIPPOCAMP]

[noun]

1. the genus for seahorses. “Hippocampus” comes from the Ancient Greek hippos meaning “horse” and kampos meaning “sea monster”. Seahorses are mainly found in shallow tropical and temperate waters throughout the world, and prefer to live in sheltered areas such as seagrass beds, estuaries, coral reefs, or mangroves.

2. a mythological creature shared by Phoenician and Greek mythology, though the name by which it is recognised is purely Greek; it became part of Etruscan mythology. It has typically been depicted as a horse in its forepart with a coiling, scaly, fishlike hindquarter.

3. a major component of the brains of humans and other vertebrates. It belongs to the limbic system and plays important roles in the consolidation of information from short-term memory to long-term memory and spatial navigation.

[Susan Seddon-Boulet]

NB: featured again so quickly due to popular request. Click here for previous entry.

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I actually had this finished for a little while, but I forgot to upload it because of finals. Now that I’m finished with finals, here it is. The headcanon sketchdump for the Seaponies. c:


I'ma be honest; I really dislike the way the G1 seaponies look. So I took that general design, mashed it with the typical Hippocamp appearance, and then played with it. For the most part the seaponies here have anatomy somewhat similar to a seal because I wanted them to be able to come upon land, but I’ll get into detail with that in the headcanon below. 

So with that said, let’s get the headcanon goin’, yeah?

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Appearance:

For my headcanon, the Seapony (otherwise known as a Hippocamp) are marine-based mammals that are related to the equine. They have long bodies, and are generally much larger than a pony in both size and in length. This size can range from 15ft to about 25ft in length alone. Their faces are very obviously equine, however they tend to have somewhat narrower and longer muzzles. This is true for both male and female. The seapony has a dense, water-proof coat that can come in several colors and patterns. Atop their heads can either be a mane, or “mane fins”, and upon their necks are where the gills are located. These gills will close themselves tightly in order to provide protection against the outside elements. 

While there are different breeds of seapony, in general their overall appearance are the same. There skeletons are similar to a seals in that their bones are strong, and their limbs are able to support their bodies for locomotion when on land. The variant of Seapony that has hooves and limbs are better built for smoother and easier locomotion on land, while there are variants that have powerful fins instead for better swimming. There’s also a variant of seapony that have a pair of very large fins that act as “wings” upon their backs. These seaponies cannot actually fly, but instead they can glide for very long distances. The “flying” variant of seaponies are the only breed that have a vertical tailfin; this is to better propel their bodies out of the water when preparing to glide. (Their “takeoff” is very similar to that of a flying fish. Just look it up if you’re curious).

Diet:

The Seaponies are omnivorous, however they are built more for hunting than foraging. Their jaws are powerful and they have long canines to better grip and shred their prey, although they have molars to also aid in crushing and mushing up the flora they eat. Their typical prey tend to consist of fish, squid, shellfish, seals, sea birds, and marine reptiles. As for the flora, it typically consists of seaweed, kelp, and coral, however the seaponies are known to travel upon land for the sake of retreaving fruits and vegetables.

When either hunting or gathering, the seapony often travels in packs of 4 or 5, and their hunting strategies vary depending on their location and what sort of prey they are after. Being the intelligent beings they are, it isn’t uncommon to see a seapony use tools to help aid their hunt, such as specialized nets.


Breeding:

A Seapony’s breeding behavior is very similar to that of a normal equine; they date, they marry, they divorce, all of that. And like ponies, sexuality doesn’t necessarily matter either, so long as both parties are consenting. It’s when a different sentient species comes into play is where things get a little more complicated, specifically if it’s a land-dweller. Despite the seaponies being able to move around and such on land just fine, they spend half or most of their lifetime in water. As such, mating with a land-dweller could become problematic if they were to have offspring, so it doesn’t happen often. It still happens however, and their have been cases where a pair has managed to create living conditions that suit them just fine.

A Seapony baby can either be called a “foal” or a “calf”. Either way, seaponies tend to have one or two calves, and when born they already know how to swim, albeit they’re a bit clumsy. They still must be taught how to walk on land, however. Other that, though, they are virtually the same as a foal; defenseless, small, and entirely dependent on their parents. I can’t believe I forgot to draw what one would look like, so I’ll eventually edit this to include one there. o3o


Behavior:


Seaponies are very intelligent, social creatures that actually have a similar setup to their land-dwelling counterparts. As such, they do indeed participate and interact with sentient land-dwellers regularly, including engaging in trade, political councils, and even warfare aid. There are several civilizations and societies populating the entirety of the seven seas, with the largest being within the ocean along Equestria’s western borders. This civilization operates under a monarchy, and as such, are led by the mythical “sea lion” named King Leo. He is based in an underwater city that is dubbed “Aquastria”, and are close allies with Equestria.

Habitat:

The Seapony, being able to dwell both on land and underwater, has a wide habitat range. They typically are found in the deep parts of the ocean, however any and every seapony can thrive in freshwater just as well as they can in salt water. Due to to them interacting with their land-dwelling neighbors, it isn’t uncommon to see a seapony that actually live near the borders of land, if only for an easier access to land. They can also thrive in just about any temperature of water, from warm to freezing cold. Despite this, not many actually settle in the north or south pole oceans.

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I’m sorry this one wasn’t as long as usual. I’m actually really sleepy despite it being a reasonable time at the moment, so my brain is kinda fizzling out. I have much more to add to this, and I will edit it later with said info, but until then this will just have to do.

Oh! Also. The black and yellow hippocamp mare belongs to :iconst0rmblade:. She’s a redrawn version of an old commission of her, but I went ahead and added it here because she’s a good example as to what a seapony/hippocamp looks like.

But anyway, if you have any questions feel free to ask. And thanks again for stopping by! 

^.^

Silver Tetradrachm from Byblos, Phonecia, c.  544 BC    

A hippocamp swims below a Phonecian galley with 3 hoplites aboard. On the reverse, a lion attacks a bull, inscription above.

The Phoenician seamen were renowned in Antiquity; Homer mentions them in the Odyssey. Founded more than seven thousand years ago, Byblos is one of the eldest cities in the world that is still inhabited; its influence is due to its trade with the Egypt of the Pharaohs, to whom it supplied Lebanese wood.

Greek Silver Shekel from Tyre, Phoenicia c. 425-394 BC

This coin, struck under an uncertain king, shows Melkart holding a bow and reigns while riding a hippocamp with a dolphin swimming in the waves below. The reverse shows an owl in front of a crook and flail.

Melkart or Melqart was the tutelary god of Tyre. Melqart was often titled Ba‘l Sūr  meaning “Lord of Tyre”, and considered to be the ancestor of the Tyrian royal family. In Greek, by interpretatio graeca, he was identified with Heracles and referred to as the Tyrian Herakles. As Tyrian trade and colonization expanded, Melqart became venerated in Phoenician and Punic cultures from Syria to Spain.

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“Breaching Hippocamp” PRINTS AVAILABLE! & “Loathsome Catoblepas” PRINTS AVAILABLE! - Magic the Gathering - Theros - © 2013 Wizards of the Coast

Over the weekend the entire set of Theros, the newest set of Magic the Gathering was spoiled. This mean of course that I can now share all my work on the set as well as their related cards, names, and stats! More over on my BLOG!