Login

Join for Free!
113958 members


Urgent: Seahorses

Animals!

Moderator: BioTeam

Postby opuntia » Tue Feb 07, 2006 4:17 pm

SEA HORSES

The sea horse is one of the strangest creatures. It's head is shaped like a horse's and its tail curls like a monkey's. It's eyes are on stalks called " turrets", and each eye can be moved on its own - just like a chameleon's eyes. Strangest of all, the sea horse has a pouch on its belly like a kangaroo's. But it's not the female taht has the pouch. The male sea horse keeps the female's eggs in its pouch until they hatch.

What kind of an animal is a sea horse? Is it a mammal, like the horse and monkey are? Or is it a reptile, like the chameleon is? No, it is neither of these. The sea horse is a fish. It is a member of the pipefish family. Most pipefishes are long, thin creatures, shaped like pipes. Sea horses have many of the features of pipefish. Their bodies are ringed by ridges of bone. Their mouths are tiny openings at the end of tube-shaped snouts. They have fewer fins than most other kinds of fish. The fin on the back - the dorsal fin - is used for swimming. And they have a strange way of producing young.

During courtship between a male and a female sea horse, the male pumps water out of the pouch on his belly. The female puts her egg-laying organ, called the ovipositor, into the opening of the male's pouch. About 200 eggs are laid. The eggs get fertilised by combining with the male cells inside the pouch. Now they can grow into young sea horses.

The mouth of the pouch closes. Inside, the fertilised eggs settle in the thick spongy lining. This lining is rich in blood vessels. Food and oxygen are carried in the blood vessels to nourish the eggs. Waste carbondioxide gas from the eggs is removed by the male's blood. After four to five weeks, the young sea horses hatch. The male pushes the young sea hores out of the pouch one by one. After each 'birth' the male resets. When the pouch is empty the male is ready to carry the eggs of another female with which it mates.

In someways sea horses are different from other pipefish. They are shorter and fatter, and hold their bodies upright all the time. The head, then, is at right angles to the body. The tail of the sea horse is prehensile. This means that it can be used for grasping. Like some kinds of monkey, the sea horse can coil its tail around an object, such as an underwater plant, and cling for support.

The sea horse also swims in an upright position. It propels itself by a rapid waves of the backfin. This looks like a revolving propeller, and can beat up to 35 times a second. Yet they are not strong swimmers and cannot swim against tides and currents. They use their heads fro steering, and tail for moving themselves up or down.

Although it is a fish, the sea horse doesn't have scales. Instead it has a hard covering like armour. Small pieces of skin stick from body and look like branches or horns. These make the sea horse hard to see as it hides among the seaweed and coral.

Sea horses are capable of a wide range of colour change, red, orange, yellow, green or brown. These colours seem to adapt to the colouring of the environment. But if the sea horse is kept in captivity the brilliant colours fade and become a dull grey-brown.

There are about 50 kinds of sea horse. They range in length from about 2.5 centimeters to 30 centimeters ( 12 inches ). All live in warm sees. Two kinds live off the Pacific coast of America. Several others live near the atlantic coasts of Europe, Africa and North America. And there are several kinds found in the regions between India and Australia.

Sea horses live in shallow waters near the shore, among the seaweed and other sea plants. Sea horses are "carnivorous" - flesh eating. They eat any kind of small sea animals, such as tiny crustaceans and very small fish.






Well, that's the article i was talking about.... :D
"The roots of education is bitter, but the fruit is sweet" Aristotle
User avatar
opuntia
King Cobra
King Cobra
 
Posts: 538
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 6:39 am
Location: Maldives(the chain of islands)

Postby Dr.Stein » Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:04 am

Similar to that I told you previously, right? ;)

Could you provide the source, please, my dear? Thank you :)
Image
User avatar
Dr.Stein
King Cobra
King Cobra
 
Posts: 3501
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 7:58 am
Location: 55284 Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Postby opuntia » Wed Feb 08, 2006 7:46 am

Exactly, it's just the same thing. 8)


:oops: oh, i guess i forgot to write that :oops:
Well the article was taken from a magazine called All about science, number 91.


PS: it's quite an old one :wink:
"The roots of education is bitter, but the fruit is sweet" Aristotle
User avatar
opuntia
King Cobra
King Cobra
 
Posts: 538
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 6:39 am
Location: Maldives(the chain of islands)


Postby Dr.Stein » Wed Feb 08, 2006 8:29 am

Don't ever think that the old thing is meaningless... you know the fossil? Older, more valuable :)
Image
User avatar
Dr.Stein
King Cobra
King Cobra
 
Posts: 3501
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 7:58 am
Location: 55284 Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Postby opuntia » Wed Feb 08, 2006 5:23 pm

I know that, Dr. but i added it simply to let you know taht it's not a very modern one so if you have never heard of it, you'd know why you didn't :wink:

Indeed, the fossils are valuable...i better go and dig my back yard and see if there is any hidden fossils there :lol: :lol:
"The roots of education is bitter, but the fruit is sweet" Aristotle
User avatar
opuntia
King Cobra
King Cobra
 
Posts: 538
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 6:39 am
Location: Maldives(the chain of islands)

Postby zami'87. » Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:13 am

Their relatives Sea dragons are on my favorite list
Attachments
seadragon2.jpg
(70.56 KiB) Downloaded 105 times
User avatar
zami'87.
Coral
Coral
 
Posts: 257
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2005 6:56 pm
Location: Serbia

Postby opuntia » Thu Feb 09, 2006 7:50 am

I thought they were a kind of sea horses :?
"The roots of education is bitter, but the fruit is sweet" Aristotle
User avatar
opuntia
King Cobra
King Cobra
 
Posts: 538
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 6:39 am
Location: Maldives(the chain of islands)

Postby zami'87. » Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:10 pm

opuntia wrote:I thought they were a kind of sea horses :?


Not good in classification but.. yeah seahorses and seadragons belong to the same family Syngnathidae but from that point..found genus Phyllopteryx (seadragons) and genus Hippocampus (seahorses)...not 100% sure

Classification :roll:

:oops:
User avatar
zami'87.
Coral
Coral
 
Posts: 257
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2005 6:56 pm
Location: Serbia

Postby Navin » Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:49 pm

The sea dragons look so funky. Is the curls around its body a form of camouflage?
Botany is the study of what? Bottoms!
User avatar
Navin
Coral
Coral
 
Posts: 277
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2005 2:23 pm
Location: Singapore (Asia Pacific)

Postby opuntia » Thu Feb 09, 2006 7:21 pm

yeah, they look like a branches, so it'd help them to disguise themselves.
"The roots of education is bitter, but the fruit is sweet" Aristotle
User avatar
opuntia
King Cobra
King Cobra
 
Posts: 538
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 6:39 am
Location: Maldives(the chain of islands)

Postby Linn » Thu Feb 09, 2006 9:56 pm

hi Opuntia
thanx for the article.
Its nice to see such an interest. :)
"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these".

~ George washington Carver
User avatar
Linn
King Cobra
King Cobra
 
Posts: 1735
Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2006 3:53 am
Location: Massachusetts, USA

Postby opuntia » Thu Feb 09, 2006 11:01 pm

Well, it's a pleasure to do that, besides i learned so many new things from that article :D
"The roots of education is bitter, but the fruit is sweet" Aristotle
User avatar
opuntia
King Cobra
King Cobra
 
Posts: 538
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 6:39 am
Location: Maldives(the chain of islands)

PreviousNext

Return to Zoology Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

cron