Seahorse refers to ray-finned fish. Forms a genus in which there are 54 species. They live in shallow waters in tropical and subtropical marine waters worldwide. In the Pacific ocean are found from North to South America. In the Atlantic from Nova Scotia and further South. There is a colony at the mouths of the European rivers. For example, in the Thames. Three species live in the Mediterranean sea.
Body length varies from 1.5 to 35 cm External appearance resembles a chess knight. The skin is thin and stretched bony plates in the form of rings. Each type have their number of rings. The neck is flexible and well expressed. For seahorses is characterized by vertical rather than horizontal movement in the water. They tremble dorsal fin and pectoral fins behind the eyes.
This is the most slow swimming fish in the world. Their top speed is 2-1,5 km/h. Caudal fin not. These bad swimmers most of the time are stationary, hooked prehensile tails for marine vegetation. Snout long and tubular end stigma. It works like a pipette, drawing the food along with water. Eyes have the ability to move, independently from each other.
Reproduction and lifespan
Primechatelno that many species of these fish form monogamous pairs for a long period of time. That is, the male stays with one female, which experts explain by environmental factors. Every male on the belly there is a special bag. During the breeding season the female throws in this bag with the help of ovipositor their eggs. Eggs could be up to a thousand. After that the offspring bears the male for 9-45 days depending on the species.
When the fry are ready to hatch, the male expels them out of the bag with the help of muscle contractions. Fry can be anywhere from 5 to 1000. They leave the bag at night and in the morning the male is already ready for the next batch of eggs. Under such conditions of birth survives no more than 0.5% of the fish, because, once in the water, they are on their own. But this percentage is quite high compared with other species of fish. In the wild seahorse live 4-5 years.
Behavior and nutrition
Air-bladder in the genus stretches along the torso. It is divided by a special partition which separate the upper head part from the lower abdominal. Our main bubble in size exceeds the abdominal. It is this anatomical feature of the building and provides the fish upright in the water. The diet consists of small crustaceans, invertebrates and fish larvae floating in the water column or crawling along the bottom. Seahorses with amazing patience sitting in ambush and waiting for prey. When that comes around, then it is sucked into a tubular snout. Thus there is a characteristic click when food gets inside. The same clicks are observed in social interaction between individuals of the same species.
The relationship with the person
These fish are used in traditional Chinese medicine. It is believed that they are being treated for impotence and nocturnal enuresis. With this purpose, annually catch up to 20 million seahorses. And in food their actively used in Indonesia and the Philippines. This dried fish is worth at retail from 300 to 3 thousand dollars for 1 kg That is valued less silver and a bit behind in gold prices. Recently seahorse has become popular in home aquariums. In captivity feels OK and is eating frozen crustaceans. Floats up and down and over the entire water volume of the aquarium.