Interesting Facts and Information About Seahorse for Kids
- What Is Seahorse and What Is Its Scientific Name?
- Types and Species of Seahorses
- Family Life of the Seahorses
- What Is the Size of a Seahorse
- Where Do They Live?
- What Do Seahorses Eat?
- How Long Do They Live?
- How Do Seahorses Swim?
- Where Do Seahorses Found Across the World?
- Other Amazing Facts and Information About the Seahorse for Children
What Is Seahorse and What Is Its Scientific Name?
A seahorse is a sea creature that gets its name from the horse because of its appearance. There are about 70 seahorse species in the world with horse-like heads.
- The scientific name of a seahorse is Hippocampus.
- They only live for about one to five years in their natural habitat.
- They generally live in shallow waters except in colder areas.
- They swim upright because of their fins ( dorsal fins) at the back.
- Seahorses can change color from black to grey to bright yellow and orange, which helps them keep safe from predators.
- Seahorses are vulnerable and on the verge of being endangered because of their use in Asian medicine.
- They are very small, and only one out of a thousand babies grow into adults.
- Each species of seahorse has a different number of plated rings running through the length of the body.
- Each seahorse has a slightly different part on the top of its head called a coronet to distinguish them from one other.
- Male seahorses give birth to babies and have a pocket like a pouch near their abdomen.
Types and Species of Seahorses
While all seahorses are identical in shape, about 70 species worldwide, different kinds of seahorses are of different sizes and colors. Some trivia about types and species of seahorses:
- The smallest seahorse species is the pygmy seahorse which is smaller than the size of a fingernail.
- The big-bellied seahorse is the largest seahorse, as tall as one foot.
- Scientists have discovered more than a dozen species of seahorses in the last decade.
- Seahorses can have a short snout or a long snout.
- The leafy sea dragons are closely related to seahorses but have leaf-like arms and legs that flow.
Family Life of the Seahorses
Scientists and researchers have spent a lot of time trying to unearth the peculiar way sea horses mate and live. The mating and family practices of sea horses differ from other fish.
- A group of seahorses is called a herd.
- A baby seahorse is known as fry.
- Each seahorse chooses a mate and stays with the same mate for its entire life.
- Although they choose a mate for life, male seahorses live in separate territories and get together every morning to perform a ritual dance.
- Male seahorses carry the eggs in a pouch located in the front of their body until they are ready to hatch.
- It takes about 45 days for seahorse eggs to hatch.
- Newborn seahorses swim together and stay connected with their tails, which is a survival technique against predators.
- Baby seahorses must learn to survive once they are born without any help from their parents.
What Is the Size of a Seahorse
It is small and strange in its appearance; seahorses survive in dangerous zones because of their exterior. Seahorses can be as small as half an inch or as tall as 14 inches. Adult seahorses can measure from 1 to 30 centimeters in length.
Where Do They Live?
Seahorses tend to live in warm water near coastal regions around the world. They like shallow waters as many plants to hold on to. They live typically in coral reefs, seagrass meadows, and mangroves. Seahorses stay in close proximity to their homes for all their lives.
What Do Seahorses Eat?
Seahorses don’t have stomachs and eat by suctioning their food through their snout. Their diet consists of plankton, crustaceans, copepods, and shrimps. Seahorses can eat up to 3000 brine shrimps in a day. They are skilled ambush predators and wait for their prey to pass by. Food passes through their digestive tract, which is why they eat up to 50 times a day!
How Long Do They Live?
The lifespan of seahorses is not known and is ascertained by observations. The known lifespans of species range from one year for the smallest species to about 3-5 years for the larger species.
How Do Seahorses Swim?
Seahorses swim vertically and have a fin on the back of the head that propels them forward. This helps them flutter at a speed of 35 times per second. They can move in different directions with their pectoral fin. They hold on to plants underwater with their curly tails. This also helps to catch food or preserve energy in rough waters. The swimming bladder is an air pocket located inside the body and releases or adds air when the seahorse wants to move up or down. Seahorses are not good swimmers and have bony plates that cover their bodies instead of scales.
Where Do Seahorses Found Across the World?
Four species of seahorses are found in the Pacific across North and South America. They are commonly found off the coasts of every continent except Antarctica. Seahorses live in areas above or below the equator and do not stay in coastlines where water tends to be cold most of the year. They can live in areas with a wide range of salinity, and it helps them navigate in estuaries and mangrove forests.
Other Amazing Facts and Information About the Seahorse for Children
You now pretty much know a lot about the entire life of seahorses, from their birth, size, habitat to reproduction details. There are some interesting seahorse fun facts that you can share with kids at a glance that may well be helpful to them in their next science project or quiz.
- The female seahorse lays about 200 eggs in the pocket pouch of the male seahorse through an egg-laying tube.
- Male seahorses fight for female attention by wrestling with their tails.
- Seahorses are capable of looking forwards and backward.
- They are bad swimmers and try to latch on to seaweed and other ocean debris to travel long distances in the ocean.
- Seahorses have a tough exoskeleton and have a spiny and bony bodies.
- Seahorses have very sharp eyesight that helps them hunt for their prey.
- With a huge demand for seahorses in Asian medicine, they are on the brink of being endangered.
- The scientific name of a seahorse, “Hippocampus,” means a “Horse Caterpillar” in Latin.
- Seahorses are slower than snails and can cover a distance of just five feet in at five feet in an hour.
- Seahorses love to swim in pairs together, holding tails and staying side by side.
- Seahorses cannot bend their tail backward.
- Seahorses make strange sounds while eating and trying to communicate with other seahorses.
With so much interesting trivia and facts to learn about sea horses, you could have a fun interactive session with children. Their curious minds are constantly seeking information, and the above information could suffice to pique their curiosity.