Female Seahorses

Topics: Pages: 8 (1810 words) / Published: Oct 7th, 2008
Of the many fish of the sea, none is more interesting and unique than the seahorse. Seahorses are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Osteichthyes, order Gasterosteiformes, family Syngnathidae, and the genus Hippocampus. The genus name Hippocampus comes from two Greek words; hippos meaning horse and campus meaning monster. Their physical appearance explains why they received their name. They have a horse-like head and a curled tail. They have developed many unique adaptations such as mobile eyes and a long snout that help them survive in the seas and oceans. The most interesting thing about seahorses to most people though, is that the male becomes pregnant. Many people are fascinated by the seahorse and they begin to keep them as pets. Because of their removal from the ocean for this reason and many others such as Chinese medicine and beach souvenirs, they have become highly demanded throughout the world and thus have become somewhat endangered.
Seahorses are marine fish that are very small when you compare them to many other animals in the ocean. They range in size from 1.6-20 cm and vary in color from shades of red, orange, yellow, gray, and green. They can also have patterns covering their body like zebra stripes or spots. They are part of the vertebra group which means they have an interior skeleton. Their bodies are covered in armored plates for protection. These plates also serve as ribs and are probably a derivative of scales. Seahorses breathe through gills and do not have a tail fin like other fish. Seahorses have a dorsal fin on their backs that propels them forward through the water upright and moves almost as fast as hummingbird’s wings. The dorsal fin can move up to seventy times per minute! The seahorses’ pectoral fins near their neck are very important and are used for turning and steering. The coronet found on the top of a seahorse’s head is as distinctive to each seahorse as thumbprints are to humans. Seahorses do not



Cited: Bowe, Rebecca. “The last roundup? Seahorses struggle for survival.” E Date: 9/1/2004 "Sea Horse," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2007 http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761564901/Sea_Horse.html “Sea Horse.” http://goodnightstories.com/wildlife/fish/card8.htm SEAHORSE., The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition 2006 “Seahorse.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seahorse. “Seahorse Basics.” Nova. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/seahorse/basics.html “Seahorse.” http://www3.nationalgeographic.com/animals/fish/sea-horse.html “Seahorses.” http://www.abc.net.au/creaturefeatures/facts/seahorses.htm “Why Seahorses?” http://seahorse.fisheries.ubc.ca/why.html “Wildlife Trade>Seahorses.” http://www.worldwildlife.org/trade/seahorse_facts.cfm

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