Seahorses are truly unique, and not just because of their unusual equine shape. 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.
Found in shallow tropical and temperate waters throughout the world, these upright-swimming relatives of the pipefish can range in size from 0.6 inches (1.5 centimeters) to 14 inches (35 centimeters) long.
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, miniature seahorses into the water.
Seahorses are fish belonging to the Syngnathidae family which also includes sea dragons, sea moths, and pipe fish. They are the genus Hippocampus (this is the H. that you see before the scientific name of a species) There are approximately 34 separate species of seahorse.
The population of wild seahorses is declining. Only one species, H. capensis has been officially declared endangered, however for most species there is too little information available to determine their correct status and are therefore considered threatened based on the limited knowledge. We do know that over 20 million seahorses are caught each year to be used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and hundreds of thousands are taken for the aquarium and curio trades.
*I have been receiving a lot of questions about breeding and raising seahorses. Before you decide to get a seahorse as a pet please do your research first. I have provided you with many useful links on this site, which should help you decide if you are capable of raising seahorse.
Average lifespan in the wild: 1 to 5 years (estimated)
Size: 0.6 to 14 in (1.5 to 35 cm)
Did you know? Seahorses have no teeth and no stomach. Food passes through their digestive systems so quickly, they must eat almost constantly to stay alive.
Information on this site taken from here:
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