Seahorses | Exploring the World of Wildlife: facts about the Seahorses

Amazing creatures seahorses do not look like any other living creatures on Earth, they look as if they came from some other planet. And in terms of biology they differ markedly from all other sea creatures, so they have long been in the focus of attention of scientists. Although, of course, they look really funny, especially when they gallop in the water.

Fact number one.

Seahorses are the only fish that have a neck. The movement involves a small fin on their back, oscillating up to 35 times per second. Rowing with two gill fins maintains vertical balance.  They are weak swimmers, some dwarf species move at a speed of one and a half meters per hour. Up and down movement in a spiral provides a change in swim bladder volume.

Fact number two.

Seahorses are able to change color depending on the surrounding plants, so they are invisible in the aquatic environment. Their bodies are covered with bony shells instead of scales. Like tropical birds, they have a rich color palette with stripes and speckles. They are difficult to distinguish from corals.

Fact number three.

Seahorses must eat something all the time or they will starve to death. They have no food-processing organs. Part of the food is instantly converted into energy, and the waste is excreted from the body. Food is not only plankton, crustaceans, shrimp, larvae, but also small fish. There are no teeth or stomach, absorption is by the proboscis. They do not chase their prey, but patiently wait for it to come, so for a comfortable life requires a little current.  Without food, they quickly die of exhaustion.

Fact number four.

The seahorse is the only sea creature in which it is the male, not the female, who bears the babies. The female carries the eggs from her body into a special pouch for the male. Thus, males incubate their young for a month and a half. This is one of the few species in which the male carries the baby. The number of fry ranges from two individuals to three thousand, depending on the species. Pregnancy of males allows females to lay eggs more often. This allows seahorses to reproduce more quickly. As soon as the male gives birth, the female lays new fertilized eggs in his uterine sac. The babies born go on their own journeys immediately.

Fact number five.

Seahorses’ eyes move independently, giving them a field of vision of almost 360 degrees, so they can literally follow predators with one eye and keep an eye on their prey with the other. However, they are bony and ungainly, and their only real enemies are crabs, which grab seahorses with their claws, and people who collect them for traditional medicine or souvenirs. Many cultures believe that seahorses have medicinal properties, especially traditional Chinese medicine, in which their dried bodies are believed to cure or prevent skin infections, asthma and more.

Fact number six. 

Seahorses are very adaptable creatures. They are found all over the world, not just in the tropics, as many people think. They are found in cold waters near New Zealand, Great Britain, and Eastern Canada. Seahorses live in all kinds of places, from coral reefs to grassy areas.

Fact number seven.

Seahorses do not have the typical pelvic, anal and caudal fins that provide thrust, lift and control like most fish. Control is accomplished by even smaller pectoral fins on the sides of the head. These pectoral fins resemble ears and emphasize the equine appearance of the head. In the event of a storm or strong current, they can be torn off, causing the animal to die of exhaustion in the open sea.

Fact number eight.

Seahorses love to ride the breeze — they cling to the fins of large fish and move to a place of interest, such as thickets, where they can take shelter.

Fact number nine.

Seahorses are quite noisy sea animals. They make sounds that strongly resemble clapping. The sounds seahorses make when they are feeding and during courtship.

Fact number ten.

There are 30 species of seahorses listed in the Red List out of 32 that exist. Their habitats are still being polluted and the nutritious plankton is being destroyed by numerous jellyfish. The reason for the mass capture is its beautiful appearance. All this leads to the gradual extinction of these beautiful sea creatures.

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