There’s no denying that seahorses are fascinating, magical little creatures but, apart from being pretty, what do we actually know about them and why are they so important? This page will answer the common (and the not so common) questions swimming through your brain, to give you a better insight into the life of a seahorse.
Where does the seahorse get its name?
- Seahorse derives from the Ancient Greek word ‘hippocampus‘. ‘Hippos’ meaning ‘horse’ and ‘kampos’ meaning ‘sea monster’.
How many different types of seahorse species are there?
- There are two types, the Spiny Seahorse (Hippocampus Hystrix) and the Short-Snouted Seahorse (Hippocampus Hippocampus).
Can seahorses make a noise?
- Seahorses produce clicking and popping sounds during feeding and courtship. They do this by moving two parts of their skull against each other.
What is the name for a group of seahorse?
- A Herd
What is the average life span of a seahorse?
- There is no definite answer but it ranges from roughly one year for the smaller species to an average of three to five years for the larger species.
What do seahorses eat?
- Brine shrimp, tiny fish and plankton. An adult eats 30-50 itmes a day. Seahorse fry (baby seahorses) eat a staggering 3000 pieces of food per day.
How do seahorses eat?
- Seahorses have no teeth and no stomach. Food passes through their digestive systems so quickly, they must eat almost constantly to stay alive.
How do seahorses have babies?
- The female seahorse lays the eggs and transfers them into the male seahorses pouch where they are then incubated. Every male seahorse has an incubation pouch in its body. The eggs are fertilized by the male, who also goes through the labour process and it takes 2-3 weeks for the babies to be born.
What are the main threats to seahorses?
There are three main reasons seahorses are at risk:
- Firstly, the Traditional Chinese Medicine Trade take in excess of 20 million seahorses a year from the wild to be used for medicinal purposes.
- They are used as souvenirs in many countries. They are deliberately taken from the sea by the Curio Trade and left to die in the boiling sun.
- The pet trade takes an estimated one million seahorses. It is thought that less than 1,000 of these live for more than six weeks.