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Description of Seahorse

´╗┐Seahorses are highly unusual fish. First, they swim upright and poorly. They lack the tail fin that provides other fish with most of their swimming power; instead seahorses use a small dorsal fin to move forward, pectoral fins near the head to turn and steer, and a swim bladder to move up or down in the water. Second, their shape is unique: They have a pronounced horse-shaped head at a right angle to their rough body, and a prehensile tail. Their snout is adapted for aspirating passing crustaceans, filtering the water through their gills. Their eyes move independently, permitting them to observe prey and their environment without moving. Their body is prickly and knobby, due to bony rings perpendicular to their backbones. Their tail permits them to anchor themselves by grasping vegetation or coral. Third, as they use camouflage to escape predators, they can grow tendrils from their skin to look like sea plants and, like chameleons, can change color to match their surroundings. They can also change color in response to other seahorses, brightening in response to a mate and darkening in submission to a rival. The thirty-five seahorse species differ in size, shape, color, and habitat. The smallest, Hippocampus bargibanti (called the pygmy seahorse), is a mere 1.3 centimeters (0.5 inches) from snout to tail, while the largest, H. ingens (the Pacific seahorse), is 35 centimeters (14 inches) long. Although seahorses generally look alike, the species differ in the number of bony rings around their bodies and tails, and one, H. abdominalis (the big belly seahorse), has a very pronounced abdomen. They vary in color, including pink, orange, yellow, brown, gray, and black, with the male usually the more colorful. They live in salt water at a depth of one to twenty-five meters (three to eighty feet), at a temperature of 6 to 30 degrees Celsius (43 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit), and in one of three coastal habitats: sea grass, mangroves, and coral reefs. The species are specific to different locations; for instance, H. bargibanti is found around the island ofNewCaledonia in the west Pacific, H. ingens inhabits the subtropical west coasts of North, Central and South America, while H. abdominalis exists around New Zealand, as well as on the southern and eastern coasts of Australia.

Thanks for description - Animal life club

Photo Gallery of Seahorse