Seahorse eggs hatch after up to 45 days in a pouch on the male seahorse’s abdomen. Baby seahorses are each about the size of a jelly bean.
Seahorse eggs hatch after up to 45 days in a pouch on the male seahorse’s abdomen. Baby seahorses are each about the size of a jelly bean.
Photograph by Richard Carey, Dreamstime

Seahorse

Seahorses are tiny fishes that are named for the shape of their head, which looks like the head of a tiny horse. There are at least 25 species of seahorses.

Common Name:
Seahorses
Scientific Name:
Hippocampus
Type:
Fish
Diet:
Carnivore
Group Name:
Herd
Average Life Span In The Wild:
1 to 5 years
Size:
0.6 to 14 inches

You’ll find seahorses in the world’s tropical and temperate coastal waters, swimming upright among seaweed and other plants. Seahorses use their dorsal fins (back fins) to propel slowly forward. To move up and down, seahorses adjust the volume of air in their swim bladders, which is an air pocket inside their bodies.

Tiny, spiny plates cover seahorses' bodies all the way down to their curled, flexible tails. The tail can grasp objects, helpful when seahorses want to anchor themselves to vegetation.

A female seahorse lays dozens, sometimes hundreds, of eggs in a pouch on the male seahorse’s abdomen. Called a brood pouch, it resembles a kangaroo’s pouch for carrying young. Seahorse young hatch after up to 45 days in the brood pouch. The baby seahorses, each about the size of a jelly bean, find other baby seahorses and float together in small groups, clinging to each other using their tails. Unlike kangaroos, baby seahorses do not return to the pouch. They must find food and hide from predators as soon as they’re born.