Seahorses have a distinctive appearance with their upright posture, tubular snout, and prehensile tail. Their bodies are covered in bony plates instead of scales.
One of the most remarkable features of seahorses is that it's the males who become pregnant and carry the developing embryos. Females transfer their eggs to the males' specialized brood pouches, where the males fertilize and protect the eggs until they hatch.
Seahorses lack teeth and stomachs, so they need to eat constantly to get enough nutrients. They have a specialized jaw that allows them to suck in prey, like small crustaceans and zooplankton, with incredible precision. Food passes through their digestive systems so quickly, they must eat almost constantly to stay alive. They can consume 3,000 or more brine shrimp per day!
As you can see, Seahorses are not strong swimmers; they use their dorsal fin to move and steer. Their slow movements help them maintain their camouflage and conserve energy.
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Pipefish are closely related to seahorses and share the characteristic long, tubular snout and prehensile tail. However, pipefish have a straighter body shape compared to the more curved body of seahorses.
Similar to seahorses, many pipefish species also exhibit male pregnancy. Males carry the developing embryos in a specialized brood pouch, ensuring their protection and nourishment.
Pipefish are expert mimics, with some species resembling seagrass or other aquatic vegetation. This adaptation helps them blend into their surroundings and avoid predators.