Seahorses

Seahorses are those cute, tiny creatures every little kid is obsessed with (at least the kids were when I was little). I mean, what’s not to like about them? They’re about the size of a teacup, and those little curly tails are to die for. But, as a kid, I’m sure you didn’t know much about them. Let me break it down for you: Seahorses, scientifically named Hippocampus (no, not related to hippos, though their name does basically mean horse sea monster), are small fish that (surprisingly) are carnivores. Their diet is small crustaceans like Mysis Shrimp. In the wild, they live for about 1-5 years. They are about 0.6 to 14 inches. Seahorses are unique in many ways, and not just because of their weird shape. Seahorses have an exoskeleton, unlike most fish. Believe it or not, they aren’t the best swimmers, and rely on their dorsal fin to move. The pectoral fins on either side of the seahorse’s head help with steering. Seahorses typically live in coral reefs and are commonly found attached to coral and seaweed, with their tails wrapped around it. There are about 54 species of seahorses. Aren’t you glad you know more about this childhood favorite?

Unfortunately, seahorses have many traits that negatively attract people. The three big things that cause the demise of seahorses are medicine, souvenirs, and pets. Seahorses, in medicine, are used greatly in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is thought that they cure asthma, skin infections, ect.. Many people also like dead seahorse decor and seahorses as pets. When kept as a pet, seahorses can live up to five years, but they need very special care and it requires a lot of commitment. Some people are careless and don’t take care of them correctly, causing them to die. Seahorses are also shipped illegally, being easy to hide with their small bodies. All these reasons can cause the seahorse population to decrease, and rather quickly at that.

Now you know a little more about this childhood favorite. Want to help protect and conserve seahorses? Visit https://www.theseahorsetrust.org/support-us/ to donate to The Seahorse Trust, an organization that is trying to conserve and protect seahorses. Leave a comment below on what you can do to help seahorses. After all, don’t these adorable creatures deserve some love?

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