Animal profile: short-snouted seahorse

Common name: Short-snouted seahorse

Scientific name: Hippocampus hippocampus

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Syngnathiformes

Conservation status: data deficient

Population: unknown

Habitat: shallow waters on the south coast of the British isles

Size: up to 15cm in height

Diet: 65-70 fully grown shrimp

Lifespan: up to 5 years in the wild

Breeding: both male and female short-snouted seahorses become sexually mature at 6 months of age. Breeding pairs tend to stay together throughtout the breeding season. Using her ovipositor, the female deposits her eggs into the male’s brood pouch. The male then sinks to the seabed and fertilises the eggs. Gestation can last between two and four weeks and labour can be up to 12 hours.

Threats: habitat degradation, human disturbance, pollution, domestication and capture for their so-called ‘medicinal’ purposes.

Other interesting facts: 

  1. short-snouted seahorses have no teeth
  2. to propel them along, their dorsal fin beats 30-70 times a second
  3. their prehensile tail allows them grip seaweed, preventing them from being washed away the currents.
  4. they can change their colour to suit their mood and their surroundings
  5. they are left to fend for themselves from birth
  6. they can move their eyes independently

Sources: 

  • Vegan Life Magazine
  • Wikipedia
  • ICUN redlist

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