Although they may not look like it, seahorses are actually a type of fish and share many of the groups characteristic features like having a swim bladder, gills and several fins. A small fin on their back is used for propulsion and even though it can flutter up to 35 times per second, they are among the slowest fish that we know of. In fact, they move so slowly, that they can easily die of exhaustion if the sea gets too rough during storms. Another two fins, located near the back of the head, help them with steering. Unlike most other fish however, they don’t have scales. This helps them to fight off predators, as apart from crabs, most animals find them too bony and indigestible. On top of their head they also have a small crown, called a coral net, which is unique to every seahorse in both shape and size.
Seahorses are very stealthy predators and the shape of their bodies as well as the color patterns on their skin often mimic underwater plants. They will usually anchor themselves, grabbing a piece of seaweed or coral with their prehensile tail and use their elongated snout to suck up tiny fish, small crustaceans or plankton which happen to drift by. The force of this suction is so strong, that they can draw in food up to 3 meters away. The shape of their head lets them remain undetected when swimming and they can move each eye independently, always having a complete view of their surroundings. Because seahorses do not have a stomach, food passes directly through their digestive system. This means that they need to feed constantly in order to stay alive.
They are monogamous creatures and together with their mate they form a pair for life. Whenever they come of age and find their desired partner, they begin a special courtship dance, spinning around, swimming side by side, and changing colors. This continues for several days, each day increasing in length with the final dance lasting up to 8 hours. After that they become inseparable and prefer to swim together with their tails linked together. Together with their close cousins, the sea dragons and the pipefish, they have a very unusual trait for the animal kingdom. Unlike most other animals, it is actually the male seahorse that gets pregnant. During mating the female will transfer up to 50 eggs into the father’s pouch, where they get fertilized and remain for the next 9 to 45 days. This frees the female to start producing new eggs immediately, helping them reproduce quicker. Around a week before childbirth, the male will send signals to the pouch, causing the eggs to hatch and from 5 up to 1,500 babies can be born. The young will then swim freely inside until they are finally released into the world.
You don't wanna miss new facts and stay updated? Enter your email-adress and get a monthly summary and be the first to get the latest news from AnnaDoYouKnow
We want to grow as a community, where we can discuss with and learn from each other. The more people we are, the more knowledge we have together. So if you have a friend, who would like our content and be interested in our facts, feel free to share.
It really helps and motivates us to keep going.
If you like our posts and concept, it really helps us when you share your thoughts and experiences - write a comment or send us a message. And if you want us to keep going, leave us a follow. If you have any suggestions, give us your feedback.
We'd love to hear from you!
We want to present you the best high quality facts and we put a lot of love and effort into our project. Each of us spends a lot of time preparing our posts, beside our regular jobs. So if you like our work and want to support us in a financial way (and buy Mietzi some treats ) you can do this here.
You can donate a single amount or subscribe monthly using the checkbox