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photos of  seahorses

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lq8453. Pygmy Seahorse (Hippocampus bargibanti) only 1cm long. Camouflages brilliantly with sea fan. Indonesia.
pygmy seahorse photos by professional underwater photographer 
nd612. Pacific Seahorse (Hippocampus ingens)
pacific seahorse photograph
me47. Leafy Sea Dragon (Phycodurus eques)
leafy sea dragon hires  picture South Australia
lo6956. Longsnout Seahorse (Hippocampus reidi) pregnant male broods young in belly pouch.
underwater Caribbean photos of longsnouted seahorses

more photos


   vitals                                                              bio
scientific name numerous
range worldwide, primarily coastal, temperate and tropical
habitat primarily bottom-dwelling, in sea grass beds and coral reefs
size .5 inch (1cm) to 1 foot (30cm)
diet small crustaceans
trivia males are pregnant! 99% infant mortality; eyes rotate independently
There are currently about 34 species of seahorses recognized by the scientific community, with another 200 or so pipefishes and kin. All are members of the fish family Sygnathidae. A few of the most popular are the Leafy Sea Dragon, Phycodurus eques, perhaps the most exotic and unbelievable of all, resembling a tangle of sea weed adrift in the cool waters of South Australia; the Estuary or Spotted Seahorse, Hippocampus kuda; and one inch dynamo Hippocampus bargibanti, the Pygmy Seahorse, a pink master of camouflage and mimicry living on sea fans in the tropical Indo-Pacific Oceans.
     Sea horses and their relatives have slender, almost tubular bodies fashioned by encircling bony segments. Most have elongated snouts (perfect for sucking up tiny crustacean prey) and curved prehensile tails (perfect for clinging to sea grasses and sponges). They are slow, often awkward swimmers with small, feathery fins. Often difficult to spot thanks to their ability to blend in with their surroundings, they are a favorite with underwater photographers and critter hunters scuba diving and snorkeling. 
     Seahorses also are big hits in private and public aquariums throughout the world. And they are a key ingredient in many traditional Chinese medicines. In fact, fishing pressure to feed this demand has increased in recent years, and certain seahorse populations in locations like the Philippines and Indonesia are dangerously low.
     Seahorses have a different approach to domestic duties. Dad is Mom. After an elaborate, extended courtship ritual complete with dancing and intertwined tails, the female sea horse deposits her clutch of eggs (50 to 500 depending on species) into a pouch on the male's abdomen, where fertilization occurs. Dad is pregnant, technically and biologically. Mother makes regular visits during the ensuing  incubation period. Then Father gives birth, labor pains and all.  Baby seahorses emerge from the pouch, fully formed and independent, and set off on their own.


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