Seahorses are the celebrated creatures of Greek mythology, known as the ocean horses who pull Poseidon's chariot. Its not surprising that much has been written and imagined about these mysterious, beautiful creatures who anchor to seagrass as they drift in ocean currents.
The Hippocampus genus of seahorses is from the fish family Syngnathidae which also includes sea dragons and pipefish. Seahorses are vertical swimmers who use their small fins to propel and steer them - often depending on their long curled tails to wind around objects to hold them steady. They have a unique method of feeding using patience, independently moving eyes and long snout to vacuum suck in crustaceans. Their exoskeleton has bony plates with a thin skin cover that can change color to match their surroundings. A crowned horn on their head, a coronet, is also a distinctive feature.
There is significant concern over the survival of seahorses due to changes in their environment and overfishing due to high demand as a traditional medicine and food source. NoCoast Aquatics has only captive bred seahorses available for aquariums so that wild populations are not damaged.
Seahorses often mate for life, displaying a twirling mating dance and working together to bear young. The female produces eggs then transfers them to the male seahorse to carry them in his kangaroo-like brood pouch - finally giving birth to tiny, fully-developed seahorses.