What lives underwater, looks like a horse and can camouflage like an octopus? A seahorse!
Loved by many for their cute appearance the noble seahorse is one of the more majestic creatures to live in the depths of the ocean.
Seahorses are best known for their monogamist nature. A seahorse roams the ocean alone until it meets it’s soulmate, and once coupled up they will stick together for a long period of time – often forever.
Each morning the seahorse couples engage in a dance to greet each other, moving together in a rhythmic dance of twists and turns which can last from minutes to hours. Each dance strengthens their romantic bond and synchronise their reproductive cycle. Seahorses will stay together and produce many offspring – they’ve even been known to wrap their tails around their mate so that they don’t lose them in rough seas.
Seahorse are actually fish, although their external appearance is completely different. Their swimming ability is of the lowest of all fish. They move incredibly slowly due to their tiny fin, which is the seahorses only way of propelling its. This tiny fin can beat up to 50 times in a second (although because of its size it still doesn’t get very far!) Seahorses are so delicate that they are known to become fatigued when the waters get rough.
Seahorses don’t have it all bad when it comes to ability though, the shape of a seahorse’s head allows it to move through the water silently, and they are able to completely camouflage to their surroundings. Both of these qualities make the seahorse an incredibly successful hunter with a predatory kill rate of around 90%! Seahorses also have incredibility strong and flexible tails which allow them to anchor themselves to seaweed, coral and even each other! This also makes them excellent hitchhikers; they can cling onto floating plants or animals in order to travel long distances quickly.
Fall in love with this silver seahorse pendant,
Did you know?
The scientific name for a seahorse is a Hippocampus. In Greek Mythology, hippocampi were large sea creatures. The hippocampi were believed to have the head and front legs of a horse and the strong tail of a dolphin. They lead the chariot which pulled Poseidon, God of the Sea across the oceans.
Ancient Greeks believed that the Hippocamps had the stay temperament as horses – good natured creatures who lived happily alongside other sea animals. There were strong a swift swimmer who could span several miles of the oceans in just a few seconds – so very different to our slow and steady seahorses!
Both the Seahorse and Hippocampus are believed to be a symbol of hope, sailors often regarded the Hippocampi as a symbol of good luck and would adorn their boats with Hippocampus symbols.