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Seahorse: the structure and habitat of the animal

Seahorse is an amazing and unusual representative of tropical reservoirs. Its appearance and some features of life are different from representatives of the marine environment.

Among connoisseurs of such individuals the question is widespread: the sea horse is a fish or an animal. The answer is simple – the individual belongs to the animal kingdom and the class of ray-finned fish.

After many years of research, scientists have proven that the animal is a close relative of the needle fish.

Seahorse belongs to the animal kingdom and the class of ray-finned fish

Since the animal is considered to be a highly modified species of needlefish, attributed it to the order Needles. The unusual body of the skate really resembles a figure in chess.

Perhaps this was the reason to give the animal such a name.

In the natural environment of the ridge can be found in subtropical and tropical reservoirs around the world. Salty and clean water is the best condition for its comfortable stay. The size of the seahorse is small and ranges from 2 to 30−32 cm.

It is quite rare to find individuals that reach 35 cm in length.

There are many theories about where the seahorse lives, because it has been met in different parts of the world. Most often, the animal can be found in the waters of Australia, sometimes England.

Sometimes individual species are found in the Azov and Black Sea. He prefers to stay close to the bottom and uses the algae as a shelter, masquerading in their thickets and changing color according to what color they are painted.

Seahorse prefers to be at the bottom of the reservoir and hide in the algae

The body of the fish is covered with a very hard and bony shell., which protects against the adverse effects of the environment. Often there are spikes on the body of different lengths and shapes, some covered with long ribbon-shaped processes of different colors.

Surprisingly, this fish has no scales. A feature of the structure will be the head, since it is very firmly attached to the body and does not rotate.

If the horse wants to look back, he turns around with his whole body, or bulges his eyes.

Each eye moves separately from the other. This feature is also inherent in chameleons, which can rotate each eye separately in a circle.

About how much sea horses live, there are disputes, since usually the life expectancy is up to 4 years, but in some cases you can meet representatives who live up to 6 years.

Another feature of the fish is its vertical location in the water. This is possible due to the fact that the swim bladder is divided by a thin partition into two sections and allows you to maintain a vertical position.

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Seahorses in their natural habitat comprise about 50 species. Each of them is different in size, appearance and some features of the structure. The most common are the following:

  1. The spotted look is large. It has a gray color with small spots throughout the body. Life expectancy is no more than 4 years under favorable conditions.
  2. The rainbow variety is considered the most beautiful, since individuals have a varied and bright color. The maximum size is 20 cm.
  3. Hardwoods are quite unusual, because instead of the usual thorns have long leaf-shaped processes. The length of each reaches sometimes 30 cm. This species is often called the sea dragon.
  4. Weed horse is rather unusual. It has a bright color with iridescent blue stripes. Its feature is a long muzzle in the form of a tube, which serves for the extraction of food. This species is listed as endangered.

Pot-bellied horse reaches a length of 37cm

  • The Black Sea variety does not have spikes. The body is translucent with a slight yellow tinge. It is quite often found in shallow water than it differs from other individuals.
  • The prickly horse resembles in appearance the Black Sea, but has sharp thorns 2–3 cm long. The maximum size of individuals does not exceed 25 cm. Lives very close to the bottom and in rare cases occurs in shallow water.
  • A big-bellied horse is the largest representative with a body length of up to 37 cm. The first impression when looking at it remains positive. The view is not frightening and quite peaceful in relation to the person, as well as to other inhabitants of the deep sea.
  • In southern Japan, there are dwarf specimens. They are painted in bright colors with purple stripes or spots.

    Perfectly disguised as corals. Have a body length of not more than 3 cm.

    They prefer not to sink to a depth of more than 40 meters.

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    Amazing fish are one of the few species that are not hunted by other inhabitants of the deep sea. The whole thing in the structure of individuals, which is dominated by thorns and bone plates.

    Such food is not able to digest large predatory fish or other hunters. The only one who can enjoy the ridge is the sand crab, whose stomach is able to digest what they eat.

    The skates themselves feed on plankton.

    Favorite delicacy of these unusual small fishes is cubs of crayfish and other small fishes. Due to the amazing ability of the skate to disguise and remain motionless for several hours, he successfully hunts them.

    Waiting for the moment when the victim approaches and draws her along with the water into her mouth.

    Despite their small size, seahorses are very voracious and can hunt and eat a large number of small individuals for up to 10 hours a day. This is due to the fact that individuals do not have a stomach, so the food quickly passes all parts of the digestive system. If you keep them in captivity, Several feeding rules should be followed:

    • Captive bred individuals can feed on dead daphnia, shrimps and other small individuals, as well as dry food for fish.
    • Feed should only be fresh.
    • Feeding individuals should be regular, but do not allow overeating, because in captivity it can cause a variety of diseases.

    Installation of various feeding troughs in which food is placed is allowed. A few days after the installation of such an innovation, the individuals themselves will understand that this is a new eating place.

    Near the feeders should be set a few long rods or sticks, so that the skates can cling to them during the meal.

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    Unusual fish are sedentary and almost all the time are in the same place. In case of danger, they can develop a decent speed or attach to large fish so that they take them to a safer place.

    Fish is fidelity and during the life prefers to be close to one partner. Only in rare instances does a female or male change a life partner. The most incredible will be the fact that in a married couple the offspring are bearing the male.

    After spawning, the couple performs a certain marriage dance for a long time. After that, the female carries the eggs in a special pocket, which is located on the belly of the male.

    After 2 weeks of carrying the fry out of their pockets, which are already independent and immediately go to free swimming. Different types of skates are distinguished by their fecundity and can be set aside from 5 to 2,000 eggs at a time.

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    Breeding skates in captivity is quite difficult and the aquarist lover cannot cope with this. Despite the fact that individuals are quite popular among aquarists, their content in an artificial environment has many nuances.

    Failure to comply with the conditions they begin to hurt and die.

    Currently, seahorses of various kinds are on the verge of extinction. This is due to the fact that in many countries the fish belongs to the expensive delicacy, and catch it on an industrial scale.

    In some regions of Australia and Asia, skates are used as raw material for the preparation of various ointments and medications.

    Humankind has known about the healing properties of the meat of this amazing fish since antiquity and included it in many dishes. However, then amateur fishing could not significantly reduce the number of individuals.

    Now the catch has become a real problem, as it gradually leads to the complete disappearance of the species.

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