10 Fascinating Facts About Seahorses To Explore When Diving

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Seahorses Are Fishes ❥❥❥ http://bestpickr.com/seahorse-facts

This is an interesting seahorse fact not many people know - they are actually fishes. In ancient societies, they are often thought as mystical sea creatures that have magical powers to heal.

Seahorses have important characteristics that qualify them as fishes. They have gills, they need water to breathe and each of them has a swimming bladder, but during the course of evolution seahorses have developed very different features from the typical fishes we know.

They have flexible necks, prehensile tails and narrow snouts. The curve of their necks and the shape of their heads are what give them their classic horse-like look, hence the name.

Seahorses are not known for their fast swimming. Dwarf Seahorses, with its top speed reaching 0.01 mph, have been officially labeled as the slowest fish in the world by the Guinness World Record. Seahorses are very vulnerable to danger because of this trait, and in order to fend for themselves, they turn to their most important skill – disguise, thus they are often known for remarkable camouflage.

Take a look at this video showing a close view of a seahorse silently stalking its prey before, like lightning, takes in its prey whole. Like sharks, orcas and humans, seahorses are also considered as apex predators.

Apex predators are organisms that, in natural environments, sits at the top of the food chain and have no other creatures that specifically hunt them as food.

Seahorses are diurnal hunters, meaning they actively search for food twice a day. An average seahorse is capable of eating up to 30-50 pieces of food every day. Examples of food they eat are shrimps, copepods, planktons, and small crabs.

Another interesting seahorse fact is that they have a pair of horn-like protrusions on top of their heads called coronets. Much like crowns, these coronets appear in different shapes and sizes, even color, depending on the species and sex of the seahorse. The coronet seems to have no important function but to act like a fashion accessory.

While a seahorse is giving birth it can pump out (it literally pumps the babies out of its tummy) up to more than 1500 baby seahorses at a time depending on the species. Just the fact that the males are the ones giving birth is enough to amaze me. Could you imagine what would that be like if that is how we reproduce? Wow.

Seahorses live independently from the moment they were born. They feed on small crustaceans especially shrimps at a staggering ten times as mush as the adults! To fend for themselves, they hide and live in areas with dense weed tufts and tall seagrasses.

The largest seahorse species ever recorded is the Pot Belly Seahorse at a length of 35 cm (13.7").

The smallest seahorse ever recorded, the Pygmy Seahorse, is only approximately 1.4 cm (0.5") long.

Most of the bigger sized species are found in cold temperate waters. The size is to give them the advantage of enduring stronger currents and to hunt for food in larger areas. In comparison, the smaller tropical seahorses do not have to search far in the warm waters where food is abundant. Tropical seahorses also have relatively smaller dorsal fins than their temperate counterpart. The next time you go diving, try and find the differences you can observe between the species living in those two regions.

Another amazing fact about seahorses is that pregnant males with bigger bellies are considered very attractive and have a higher chance of having more mates. Can you imagine a new fashion trend for men to have potbellies? Mm.

The male seahorses hold the responsibility of carrying, protecting, and nourishing the eggs from the moment they are conceived until they are born. Not many species in the animal kingdom do that. This feature makes it easier for us to differentiate between the male seahorses and the females. As only the males have the ability to get pregnant, they have brood pouches on their abdomens. When the males are not pregnant, the pouch can be seen like a deflated balloon with a slit right under the torso. Female seahorses do not have pouches. That gives them a sharp curve that differentiate between the torso area and the start of the tail. Can you guess which one is which in the picture?

The answer: The male is on the left and the female is on the right.

One fascinating fact about seahorses is they are among the top when it comes to courting. How do the males seahorses woo their partners? By dancing.

A pair will meet up at a place near their territory and greet one another before starting their ritual. Together, they will find a holdfast to keep them from being swept away by the current. Their dance comes in two stages. First, the male, with its color almost glowing with excitement, will come up to the female and entwine his tail to hers. Together, both of them will swim slowly encircling each other like in a waltz. Then, in a coquettish manner, the seahorses bow their heads and move side by side along the sea floor with one of them lean towards the other from time to time. This dance would usually last for a few minutes every day at dawn.

Seahorses lack jaws to chew food. Instead, they get snouts with a powerful sucking mechanism. These narrow snouts create a strong jet of water to suck in food into the mouth cavity and during the process, disintegrating it.

In the video, you can see a mechanism similar to a trigger visible under the chin. This trigger will further produce a strong suction by accelerating the water movement through the seahorses’ siphons. The video shows four tank-raised seahorses, Hippocampus erectus, feeding on frozen mysid shrimps.

To compensate their lack of ability to swim fast and dodge predators, seahorses have the power to camouflage. They are the masters of disguise. They can rapidly change color according to their surroundings and also add fleshy appendages to their body to further mimic weeds and seagrasses. This trait has almost always confuse people when it comes to identifying one.

Seahorses, like chameleons, have flexible sets of eyes that can swivel independently. This gives a major advantage to the seahorses as they can hunt for food and looking out for danger at the same time.