~ Sea Horse ~

NAME: The name is derived from the resemblance of the head to that of a horse.

DESCRIPTION: A sea horse has long, tubular jaws much like a snout. The body is compressed, with an elongated tail, and the integument (external covering) is a series of large, rectangular bony plates, with a series of spines and projections along the lines of juncture. These spines, together with the divided, streamerlike fins of some species, give them a strong resemblance to the seaweeds among which they live.

SPECIES AND LOCATION: About 30 species of sea horses are found in various warm and temperate seas. Sea horses are of the same family as the pipefish. All keep near the shore, often developing in brackish water.

BEHAVIOR: Sea horses, like pipefish, have unusual breeding habits. Following mating, a female sea horse deposits her eggs in a brood pouch located on the abdomen of the male sea horse, who then takes care of the eggs until they hatch.

SWIMMING: Sea horses swim fastest in the horizontal position, but can also propel themselves while remaining vertical.

COMMON SEA HORSE: The Hippocampus hudsonius, also known as the common sea horse of the Atlantic coast of North America, is the largest of all the species of sea horses, reaching a length of more than 5 inches.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION: Sea horses make up the genus Hippocampus in the family Syngnathidae.

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