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SEAHORSES

Hippocampus

FISHES OR HORSES?

The majority of the fishes have developed a tapered shape functional to swimming while the seahorse (Hippocampus sp.) is an exception: it looks like a horse in miniature. Because of his body shape, seahorse is rather inept swimmer and his caudal fin modified to a long prehensile tail which they uses to anchor themselves to the sea grasses and corals. Seahorses swim very poorly, rapidly fluttering a dorsal fin and using pectoral fins (located behind their eyes) to steer.

THE CURIOS CASE OF THE “MOTHER MALE FISH”

 

The reproduction of seahorses is very special: Unlike most other fish, they are monogamous and mate for life. Rarer still, they are among the only animal species on Earth in which the male bears the unborn young.!!!

Male seahorses are equipped with a brood pouch on their ventral, or front-facing, side. When mating, the female deposits her eggs into his pouch, and the male fertilizes them internally. He carries the eggs in his pouch until they hatch, then releases fully formed, from 100 to 200 miniature seahorses into the water.

 

Common name: LONGSNOUT SEAHORSE

Scientific name: Hippocampus reidi

Length: 17,5 cm

Depth: 0 - 55 m

 

Curiosity

The breeding season can last up to 11 month

Habitat

They live between corals, algaes and mangroves.

 

Common name: SPOTTED SEAHORSES

Scientific name: Hippocampus kuda

Length: 17 cm

Depth: 0 – 50 m

 

 

 

CURIOSITY

 

Greeks and Romans believed the seahorse was an attribute of the sea god Poseidon/Neptune, and the seahorse was considered a symbol of strength and power

Habitat

This species lives in shallow water between mangroves, seagrass beds, near estuaries and on mud slopes.

 

Common name: BIG BELLY SEAHORSE

Scientific name: Hippocampus abdominalis

Length: 32 cm

Depth: 0 - 104 m

 

Curiosity

The male of this species seem pregnant even when they are not because of their big belly.

HABITAT

 

The big belly seahorse can be found in a variety of habitats in the coastal waters, in harbours, in protected bays and also in deep water with sponges.