Cool Facts

1)      Seahorses have heads like horses, tails like monkeys and pouches like kangaroos.

2)       It’s the male seahorse that becomes pregnant!

3)      They are monogamous, mating several times with the same partner during one season.

4)      They mate during the full moon.   Male seahorses try to impress females by having tail pulling competitions, dragging each other around on the bottom of the seabed and displaying their pouches.

5)  Then they have a courtship ritual that includes changing colors and synchronized swimming.

Photo courtesy of Rudie Kuiter and NOVA Online

The above photo shows the male and female mating when the male’s pouch meets the female’s egg duct.  She injects 200-600 eggs directly into his pouch where they are fertilized by his sperm.

The pouch lining becomes like a placenta, each egg forming an umbilical cord to supply oxygen and nutrition for the next six weeks.

Credit: iStockphoto/Kristian Sekulic

This couple are performing their daily ritual during pregnancy, entwining their tails and spiraling to the surface in a dance of celebration.

Francesco TURANO

You can see babies emerging from the top of this guy’s bulging belly and others newly born swimming nearby.  The males go through up to 72 hours of labor and contractions to release the babies.

Here’s a Dad and some newborns clinging to the grass.


Seahorses can change colors in the blink of an eye to camouflage themselves.

©David Hall at

©David Hall at

©David Hall at

Seahorses anchor themselves with their prehensile tails to sea grasses and corals, using their elongated snouts to suck in plankton and small crustaceans that drift by. Voracious eaters, they graze continually and can consume 3,000 or more brine shrimp per day.

(c) David Hall/

Great shot of a seahorse eating a brine shrimp.

Seahorse bodies have bony plates arranged in rings, that act as body armor. The body has exactly 11 rings and the tail has 34 to 35 rings.

The sharp points on the body have the ability to numb whatever it pricks.

They range in size from 1 ½ inches to one foot.

4 thoughts on “Sea Horses

  1. Dusky—this is just a beautiful idea! and of course I looked at the sea horses right away—I’ve always loved them, and the pregnancy makes them ultra-special, yes? Thanks for finding my name, and letting me in on this site! I will get my brain very exercised looking at it a lot!
    Best, Lorie

  2. Oh my goodness!! I had no idea that seahorse where so absolutely ADORABLE!! Tail pulling competitions!! That is the cutest thing ever, and male and female holding tales awwwwwwww!

  3. Sea horses are definitely SPECIAL. Where can i find more information on them?

  4. Awesome photography and very interesting to learn about the male pregnancy!

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