Seahorse Facts

Seahorse Facts
Seahorse is a type of marine fish that can be easily recognized because of its specific morphology. There are 35 species of seahorses that live in tropical and temperate water all over the world. Seahorses prefer shallow water and they are usually located near coral reefs, mangrove forests or near the seaweed. Many species of seahorses are endangered because of the over-fishing (seahorses are used in traditional Asian medicine). Other factors that negatively affect their survival are pollution of the ocean and global climate changes which decrease number of coral species and alter the temperature of the water.
Interesting Seahorse Facts:
Seahorses vary in size from 0.6 to 14 inches in length.
Seahorses have equine (horse-like) shape of the head, elongated body and curled tail. They do not have scales.
Despite their specific body shape, seahorses have gills, swim bladder and fins, just like all other fish.
Color of the seahorse body matches with its environment. Some species change their body color under stress conditions or as a part of mating ritual.
Seahorses hold a Guinness World Record as the slowest swimmers in the ocean. Dwarf seahorse swims 5 feet per hour.
Seahorse can move its fins 50 times in second, but that is not enough for efficient movement. On the other hand, they are quite maneuverable and able to move up, down, forward and backward.
Seahorse can be easily moved away by the sea current because of its tiny structure and inability to swim fast. Luckily, it has a prehensile tail which allows it to grab a coral branch or sea weed and prevent current-induced movement.
Seahorses eat plankton and small crustaceans. They do not have teeth and stomach and food passes quickly through their body. Seahorses are able to eat up to 3000 brine shrimp per day.
Seahorses interact with each other by producing the clicking sounds. These sounds are also produced during meals.
Some species of seahorses are monogamous (they mate for life), while other stay together only during a breeding season.
The best known fact about seahorses is that male carries the babies. Mating ritual is complex and it involves dancing when seahorses intertwine their tails and move around tangled. It may last for hours.
Male seahorses have a pouch on the front side of their body. When female deposits her eggs inside the pouch, male fertilizes them internally. Male can carry up to 2000 babies at the time.
Pregnancy lasts between two and five weeks. Young seahorses look like miniature versions of their parents.
Only 1% of babies will live long enough to reach the adulthood.
Lifespan of most seahorse species is between one and five years both in the wild and in the captivity.

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