Which horse is actually a fish?

Although it has a head that resembles a horse, its gills, fins and swim bladder make the marine seahorse unquestionably a fish.

These fascinating creatures have a long snout, a bulbous body and a long snake-like tail. With a maximum speed of 1.5 metres per hour, the seahorse is the slowest fish in the world. In comparison, the average snail moves at 3 metres per hour.

They have a small dorsal fin that is not very strong, so swimming is labour some. Instead they use their tails to latch onto a piece of sea debris to float over distances. They also use their tails to anchor themselves to sea grass or coral when the sea becomes rough.

Their eyes can move independently of each other, like those of a chameleon, giving them a 360-degree field of vision! They are also extremely good at evading predators by camouflaging themselves to mimic their surroundings. This works out in two ways as they are excellent ambush predators. They lie in wait unnoticed till unsuspecting small crustaceans like shrimp come along. Then they use their long snouts to quickly suck them in and swallow them whole. They can suck prey from as far as 3 cm away.

If there were any prizes for the father of the year in the marine world, it would go to the male seahorse. In seahorse society, it is the father and not the mother who carries the eggs (in an abdominal pouch) for 45 days. The female is free to wander about and look for food!

And that’s not all; these incredibly unique sea creatures have no stomach or teeth. To stay alive they have to constantly eat! There are around 46 species of seahorse, which can range in size from a jellybean to a banana. The largest seahorse is the big-bellied seahorse which can grow up to 12 inches, while the smallest is called the pygmy seahorse and is only around 16 mm long.

Picture Credit : Google 

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