Seahorses: tiny treasures of the sea

Seahorses are fish that look like tiny horses with curled tails. 

They have a little fin on their back that lets them swim forward, backwards, up, and down. 

This fin can beat 50 times per second, but it’s so small that seahorses move slowly. 

That’s why they prefer warm, shallow waters. They can sway with gentle currents, or hang on to seagrass and corals with their tails.

Seahorses pick one patch of reef as their home

They spend their lives in a small area, although sometimes they may catch a ride on drifting seaweed. Mostly, they like staying close to home, with their partner. 

Perhaps because they eat all day long. 

Seahorses don’t have stomachs, so they munch often to stay strong.

Whenever they spot plankton or tiny shrimp, they sneak up quietly…aim their snouts…and shlurp

If they spot a hungry fish instead, they hold very still. Then, they change color to match what’s around them  until they’re almost invisible!

Seahorse couples dance every morning

Once they pick a partner, many seahorses stay together for life. 

Every morning, they meet for a few minutes before going about their day. They swim holding tails, twirling around, and changing colors until they match.

They dance to keep their bond strong. 

Seahorses live only with their partner, not in schools like other fish.

The male seahorse gets “pregnant”

When it’s time to start a family, mommy seahorse gives the eggs to daddy seahorse. He has a small pouch on his tummy.  

The eggs are so small, he can carry about 2,000 at a time! He keeps them safe and gives them nutrients until they’re born. 

A week before coming out, baby seahorses hatch from their eggs and swim inside the pouch.

When they’re ready, daddy seahorse pushes them out from his pouch into the big, wide ocean. 

As far as scientists know, only 2 more animals in the world have daddies giving birth instead of mommies  they’re also fish! The pipefish and the seadragon.

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