Time for another FACTS FRIDAY (Sharks, Lionfish, and Sea Turtles). Today is about Seahorses, those small amazing almost mythical creatures.
There are 45 species of Seahorses. The genus name is “Hippocampus”, this comes from the ancient greek hippokampos, hippos meaning “horse” and kampos meaning “sea monster”.
Seahorses are found in shallow tropical and temperate salt water throughout the world. They live in sheltered areas such as seagrass, coral reefs, and mangroves. They range in size from a ½ inch to 14 inches and resemble a horse with their bent neck and long nose. Their skin is stretched over bony plates which are arranged in rings. They have no scales. Each species has a different number of rings. They swim upright and are not very strong swimmers.
The male seahorse is equipped with a pouch. When mating the female seahorse deposits up to 1,500 eggs in the male’s pouch. The male carries the eggs for 9 to 45 days until the juvenile seahorses emerge fully developed but very small, then they are released into the water.
Seahorses feed on small crustaceans that are floating in the water or crawling on the bottom. With excellent camouflage and patience, they ambush their prey easily.
Because data is lacking on the seahorse population, some species of seahorses may already be extinct.
So next time you find one of these amazing creatures, you now know a few facts about them.