The seahorse is a tiny fish that has a horse-like head and curled tails. Seahorses can be found swimming in groups, always in an upright position. Unlike the other fish, their bodies are covered with bony plates instead of scales.
How fast can seahorses swim?
Although they are fish and have fins that help them to move forward in the water, the seahorses are not great swimmers. In fact, they prefer to rest in one place, holding onto corals or seaweeds with their tails for days together.
Seahorse physical characteristics
Adult seahorses can measure up to 1 to 30 centimetres in length. They feast on tiny shrimps, fish and planktons. Since seahorses are toothless creatures, they have to suck in the live food through their long snouts.
How do seahorses give birth?
It is interesting to note that in the case of seahorses, it is the males that give birth to the young ones! The male seahorse has a small pouch on his tummy. The female lays over 2,000 eggs into the male’s pouch. These eggs are then fertilized inside the pouch itself. About 2 to 6 weeks later, the eggs hatch and baby seahorses come out of the pouch.
Are seahorses endangered?
Seahorses have a number of enemies in their surroundings, like crabs, tunas and other large fish, but their existence is also threatened by human activities. They are caught and killed for use in aquariums or in science laboratories. The seahorse population is rapidly declining around the world because of their huge demand in the Asian medicine trade, habitat destruction and sea water pollution. To prevent them from getting extinct, they are now protected by law.
14 Interesting Facts about Seahorses
- The Seahorse is called Hippocampus in Latin which means ‘Horse Caterpillar’.
- Seahorses can be found throughout the world in shallow tropical and temperate waters.
- Seahorses generally have two patterns on their body- zebra stripes and spots.
- The average lifespan of a seahorse is from 1 to 5 years.
- Seahorses are even slower than snails! They are only able to cover a distance of around 5 feet in one hour.
- Seahorses have excellent eyesight and their eyes are able to work independently on either side of their head. This means that they can look forwards and backwards at the same time!
- Seahorses can change colour to mingle with their surroundings. They do so by enlarging or squeezing the pigment cells in their skin.
- Seahorses have a small crown on their heads that is known as a coral net. It is unique for each individual animal.
- A group of seahorses called a herd.
- Seahorses do not have a stomach, and thus, the food passes through their bodies very quickly. It is because of this reason that they have to eat almost continuously.
- The male and the female seahorse perform a special dance and also change colours to impress their partners.
- Seahorses love to swim together in pairs, side by side, holding tails!
- Seahorses cannot bend their tail backwards.
- Seahorses make strange clicking sounds while eating and communicating with other seahorses.
Learn how to draw a seahorse in a fun and interactive way.