Species Name : Seahorses
Care Level : Difficult
Family : Syngnathidae
Genus : Hippocampus
Classification : Fish
Lifespan (in wild) : 3 years
Weight : 200g
Body size : 2-35cm
Top speed : 150cm per hour
Diet : Carnivore
Habitat : Ocean
Origin : Indian and Pacific Oceans, Pacific, Indonesia
Seahorses are fish. There are around 36 seahorse species, which are found in tropical and temperate coastal waters where they swim upright among seaweed and other plants.
Seahorses vary in size, ranging in length from about 2 to 35 cm (about 0.8 to 14 inches). They live in water, breath through gills and have a swim bladder. However they do not have caudal fins and have a long snake-like tail. They also have a neck and a snout that points down.
Seahorses’ bodies are covered in tiny, spiny plates, all the way from their head down to their curled, flexible tail. The tail can grasp objects, which comes in handy when these cool critters want to anchor themselves to vegetation. To move forward through the water, seahorses use their dorsal fin (back fin). To move up and down, they adjust the volume of air in a tiny pocket inside their body, called a ‘swim bladder’.
Seahorses are poor swimmers. They rely on their dorsal fin beating at 30-70 times per second to propel it along. Pectoral fins either side of the head help with stability and steering. A master of camouflage, these fab fish can be incredibly difficult to spot. Camouflage not only helps the seahorse avoid predators, such as crabs and other fish, it helps it to be a predator, too.
Feeding on small crustaceans, seahorses are super-skilled ambush predators. Rather than chasing their food, they wait, unnoticed, for prey to pass by. They then suck their unsuspecting victim though their tube-like mouth, before swallowing it whole. Seahorses eat small crustacea such as Mysis Shrimp. An adult eats 30-50 times a day.
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