I love seahorses. Go to any aquarium and you are likely to see a tank full of these fish. In the natural world, they live in the coastal waters of tropical and temperate regions. I occasionally found them in the marine waters off of Long Island in New York. There are about 45 species worldwide ranging in size from a half-inch to the size of a banana.
Seahorses use their prehensile tail to hold on to underwater plants such as eel grass and kelp where they suck in plankton and small crustaceans floating in the water. These fish have no teeth and no stomach. Food travels through their digestive system fast requiring them spend a lot of time eating. Due to their boniness, fish do not eat them, but seahorses are a delicacy of crabs.
Seahorses are monogamous and some species mate for life. The females lay eggs in the pouch of the male. The eggs hatch about 45 days later where they are expelled from the pouch. The babies seek shelter in small groups to escape predators and find food.
Divers have reported hearing seahorses make noise. The sound is like smacking your lips.
These astonishing creatures face challenges when pollution destroys aquatic vegetation and coral reefs. The next time you visit a marine environment, think about the marvelous seahorse world that lies beneath the water.