One of the world’s undersea favorites is the seahorse. These peaceful fish spend their lives slowly swimming along looking for food and staying out of the way of predators. Check out some of these cool facts about the seahorse.
These little beings get their name from their horse-shaped head. They have a prehensile tail (like a monkey) that is used to grasp and anchor itself. It can be found in the tropical and temperate waters throughout the world, where they propel themselves along with their tiny dorsal fins in an upright position.
One of the truly remarkable things about the seahorse is in regards to its mate. Seahorses will find a mate and stay with them throughout their lives. The female is also not responsible for her young. She lays her eggs in the brood pouch of the male seahorse. He then fertilizes them and carries the young until they hatch. Once the young hatch they are left to survive on their own. To help guard against predators the young will group together, holding onto each others tails for support.
Out of the 47 recognized species of seahorse, the smallest is the Pygmy seahorse. This itty bitty guy measures about the size of a pea and is found in the reefs of Indonesia. The male still has a brood pouch but it only measures about 3 millimeters in length.
The largest of the seahorses is the Big-Belly seahorse. It measures up to 14 inches long (35 centimeters) and, yes, you guessed it, has a big rounded belly. It can be found around Australia and New Zealand.
All seahorses have a tube-like snout. They don’t possess and teeth so they suck up their food with their snouts. They also don’t have a stomach so the food passes through them quite quickly. In order to stay alive the seahorse must eat constantly. In fact, they can go through more than 3,000 brine shrimp a day.
The seahorse is mostly made up of bone. It even has bony interlocking plates on the outside of its body that covers a bony spine. They breathe using their gills and can move up or down depending on how much air they take in or release through their swim bladders.
All About Seahorses
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