Q:

What is a seahorse's food chain?

A:

Quick Answer

Seahorses occupy a middle position in their food chain. They are carnivores that feed on tiny crustaceans, such as shrimp. The shrimp feed on algae, which are near the base of the food chain. Seahorses are preyed upon by crabs and fish, which are eaten by larger fish. These large fish are hunted by apex predators, including sharks that are at the top of the food chain.

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Full Answer

Seahorses use their prehensile tails to anchor themselves to plants or coral. Because they are sedentary and camouflage easily, they can ambush their prey at any moment. When shrimp and other small organisms swim by them, seahorses quickly suck them in with their elongated snouts. They feed continuously and can eat as much as 3,000 brine shrimp in a day.

Seahorses are slow, rather inept swimmers that tire easily, so they use their natural camouflage to hide from predators. Seahorses are often captured as specimens for aquariums. Humans also fish for them in East Asia because the natives there believe that seahorses have medicinal properties. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna attempts to control the import and export of seahorses, although several nations have opted out of these regulations.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where does a seahorse live?

    A:

    Seahorses live in various oceans around the world. Seahorses live very close to the ocean floor and attach to coral and other objects under the water.

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  • Q:

    What are some seahorse facts for kids?

    A:

    Seahorses have gills and swim bladders, but don't have vertical fins or typical fish tails. A seahorse's tail is long and resembles a snake. The Latin term for a seahorse is "hippocampus," which translates to "horse caterpillar." Seahorses have exceptional vision, and their eyes work independently from one another, allowing them to see straight ahead and look back at the same time.

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  • Q:

    What are some predators of the seahorse?

    A:

    There are several predators of the seahorse, including the crab, stingray, tuna and penguin. Seahorses do not have a natural defense mechanism and they do not swim very well — two factors that leave them open to predation and reliant on their environment for protection.

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  • Q:

    How does a seahorse give birth?

    A:

    Male seahorses give birth by releasing their young offspring into the water once the eggs hatch. Fertilized eggs are stored in a brood pouch on the ventral side of the animal during a gestation period ranging from 14 days to four weeks.

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