Loved and revered the world over, the seahorse can be found in tropical and temperate salt water environments the world over. Sans the poles. They, of course, aren’t horses or even related to them. They are indeed fish. These incredible and unique fish prefer sheltered areas like estuaries, seagrass beds, coral reefs, and mangroves. Seahorses can be as small as 5/8th of an inch long. Based on the species (of which there are over 50 known), seahorses are listed anywhere from Data Deficient to Endangered. One thing is for certain, they are fragile and need our protection as well as our diligence in reducing pollution and fighting climate change.
First the Stats…
Scientific name: Hippocampus
Weight: Up to 1 lb.
Length: Up to 14 inches
Lifespan: Up to 1 year
Now on to the Facts!
1.) Their scientific name Hippocampus means “Horse Caterpillar”.
2.) These fish prey on mysis shrimp and other tiny crustaceans.
3.) Adults eat up to 50 times a day!
4.) Juveniles eat up to a whopping 3,000 pieces of food a day!
5.) Seahorses have independently moving eyes, like a chameleon, and amazing eyesight.
But wait, there’s more on the seahorse!
6.) In a strange twist of roles, the female lays her eggs in the male’s pouch and he then internally fertilizes them.
7.) A male can carry as many as 2,000 eggs/babies in his pouch at a time!
Did you know…?
Due to their amazing camouflage, they are afforded up to a 90% hunting success rate!
8.) Unfortunately, less than half of the babies will not survive to adulthood.
9.) Their courtship dances can last for several days, with the last day’s dance lasting up to 8 hours before mating begins.
10.) Females have a territory of about 328 square feet and males have a territory of around 1.64 square feet. Their territories also overlap.
But wait, there’s still more on the seahorse!
11.) Gestation (pregnancy) time for fertilized eggs can last up to 4 weeks.
12.) To expel the hatched fry from his pouch, the male will engage in a series of contractions that can last up to 12 hours.
Did you know…?
Seahorses actually growl when stressed and click when courting one another.
13.) A group of seahorses is called a herd.
14.) Like goldfish, seahorses have no stomach. Just an elongated digestive track. So they must eat constantly in order to get enough nutrition to survive.
15.) Being lousy swimmers (hey, they only have 1 fin) they will often anchor onto sea grass and other objects during rough current.
But wait, there’s still a little more on the seahorse!
16.) Their solo dorsal fin can beat at up to 70 times per second in order to propel them through the water.
17.) Traditional Chinese Medicine creates a demand for up to 150 million seahorses from the wild each year! So sad, considering there is literally zero health benefits from seahorses.
18.) The seahorse is just a highly modified pipefish that dates back to around 13 million years ago.
19.) Male seahorses have been seen as being aggressive towards other males in order to win breeding rights with a female.
20.) The smallest of the known seahorses is the pygmy seahorse. As mentioned, they grow to only 5/8th of an inch long!
Now a Short Seahorse Video!
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