What Are Some Adaptations of a Seahorse?

Sylke Rohrlach/CC-BY-SA 2.0

Seahorse adaptations include elongated snouts and prehensile tails. The males have a brood pouch on the front side of their bodies. Seahorses mate for life, unlike other fish.

Seahorses use their tails to hook onto coral and sea grasses. They then use their elongated snouts to suck up plankton and small crustaceans. Seahorses have no teeth and no stomach. The food passes through their systems so quickly that they must graze constantly to stay alive. They can consume nearly 3000 brine shrimp in a day.

The seahorse is the only animal species on earth in which the male carries the unborn young. The female deposits her eggs into the male’s brood pouch. The male fertilizes the young and carries them in the pouch until they hatch, at which point they are released into the water.

Seahorses move with the help of a small fin that flutters about 35 times per second. Smaller pectoral fins, on the back of the head, are used for steering. Seahorses swim upright and are relatives of the pipe fish. They range from 0.6 inch to 14 inches long. They have well-defined necks and no scales. Seahorse populations are dwindling due to pollution and coastal habitat depletion. They are also harvested and used in Asian traditional medicine.