Tuesday, May 17, 2011


With their upright posture, horselike head, curious swimming action, and their habit of hanging onto seaweeds with their tail, seahorses do not really look like fish at all.

Despite their strange appearance, seahorses are true fish.They are placed in a family that boasts several other “unfishlike” members. These include the seadragons and pipehorses, as well as the pipefish. Some of these species look like bunches of drifting seaweed and others look like thin tubes.

Unfishlike Features
A seahorse swims with its body held vertically in the water, instead of horizontally as in other fish. Therefore its head is positioned at right angles to the rest of the body so that the seahorse can see and feed properly. The seahorse’s tail is also unusual. It does not have a fin. Instead,
the tail is a long, rounded extension of the body.The seahorse twists its tail around seaweeds or other objects so it can hang onto them, in the same way that monkeys use their tails to hang onto the branches of trees.

Seahorses do not have pelvic (hip) fins, while their pectoral (chest) fins are small and look like ears. Because of the upright posture of the body, the dorsal (back) fin, which is located about halfway down the back, points backward instead of upward as in other fish. It therefore does the job of the caudal (tail) fin of other fish and is the main fin used in swimming. The body is not covered in scales, but in hard bony plates, known as scutes. They act as body armor and make seahorses hard for predators to swallow.


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