Seahorses are fish. But, very strange fish. Unfortunately, seahorses are disappearing from our oceans.
The Leafy Sea Dragon from South Australia.
Seahorses have no stomach. Food passes through their digestive systems so quickly, they must eat almost continuously to stay alive.
Seahorses eat at least 3,000 or more small shrimp and other plankton each day.
They propel themselves by using a small fin on their back that flutters up to 35 times per second. Even smaller pectoral fins located near the back of the head are used for steering.
When they aren't swimming, they hang onto seaweed and coral with their prehensile tail.
Males form territories of about one square meter. Females range over about one hundred times that area.
They use their long snouts and toothless mouths to suck in plankton and small crustaceans that swim by (like sucking up grains of rice through a straw).
Seahorses do not have scales; instead their skin covers a set of bony plates arranged in rings around their bodies. Each species has a distinct number of rings.
The smallest seahorse is called Denise's seahorse. It's only about a centimeter long.
The earliest known seahorse fossils date back about 13 million years.
Thanks to Dave Bretherton for the excellent seahorse photo.