What is a Seahorse?
The seahorse is a very interesting creature and has captured the attention of most people at least once in their lifetime. While it bears little resemblance to a fish the seahorse is in fact a member of the fish species. Its scientific name is Hippocampus. Seahorses have a head that closely resembles that of a horse thus the name. They also have a pouch for carrying young, like marsupials. It is the male seahorse that becomes pregnant and births the young. There are at least 80 different species of seahorse and they range in both size and color. Seahorses do not have scales as other fish do but instead have bony plates arranged in rings around their bodies. When swimming seahorses swim in an upright position and used their weak dorsal fin to propel them through the water. The seahorse also has pectoral fins behind their eyes that they use to steer. Their tail is prehensile meaning that it can be used to hold and gasp items and they can often be found resting with their tail grasping a piece of coral or seaweed.
Where Do Seahorses Live?
Seahorses live exclusively in saltwater and can be found in most of the oceans of the world. They prefer shallow tropical and temperate waters close to the coast line. As such large seahorse populations are found in the waters close to the equator. Due to the fact that they are poor swimmers and can easily die from exhaustion, seahorses can be found living in calm, sheltered areas such as coral reefs, sea grass beds and mangroves.
Herds of seahorses have been found in the oceans near southern North America and northern South America. They also live in the oceans around Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Southern Asia. Seahorse populations also exist in all of the Mediterranean seas.