13. This courtship happens every morning for several days -- the final dance can last up to eight hours -- until the couple finally does the deed. Although, if they did, we’d never know. People do like to keep them at home in aquariums; Seahorses in Popular Culture One of the most common elements of seahorses used in popular culture has to do with them being used in various types of herbs by the Chinese. Dating back to 2004, the seahorses were placed on the Appendix 'Two,' of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna ("The life cycle of seahorses," 2010). “Seahorse babies get a lot of nutrients via the egg yolk provided by their mothers but the pouch of the fathers has also evolved to meet the complex challenges of providing additional nutrients and immunological protection, and ensuring gas exchange and waste removal. Do female seahorses give male seahorses trichomoniasis? As stated above, seahorses attach to coral reefs and call it their home. While it may be hard to accept, scientists have discovered that adult dolphins sometimes kill the babies of other dolphins. Potassium causes changes in the electrical impulses in the heart muscles, which result in abnormal heart rhythms, cardiac arrhythmia or heart palpitations. Their population is dense in the coastal areas and especially where seaweed, such as eel grass grow in plenty. It’s super effective: seahorses manage to bag their targeted copepod 94% of the time. Seahorses are food for different crustaceans, as well as fish. 15. It turns out the trick is in the very movements that make us think it is a harmless, cute, kind of clumsy critter. Because of their need to constantly eat in order to survive, many captive seahorses die from starvation because they are not fed the proper diet in the correct quantities (Otfinoski, 2008). However, there are also dangerous wastes that are consciously dumped directly into the ocean. Seahorses are strange little fish that eat constantly, ... so human activities like pollution, ... 9 Dangerous Coral Reef Creatures. They might eat as many as 3,000 tiny shrimp in just one day. I F**kning Love Science writes, "Copepods are speedy little creatures that can zip away from predators after sensing impending danger from movement in the water. But that very slow movement allows it to sneak up on prey undetected, since it barely disturbs the water around it. If hyperkalemia is left untreated, the heart will stop as its electrical activity is suppressed. With their horse-shaped head, eyes as tiny as glass fishbowls, kangaroo-like pouches, chiffon frills-like fins and monkey-like tails, seahorses have always intrigued and enchanted human since ancient times. Seahorses cannot reproduce quickly enough to replace the numbers that are harvested for the supposed medicinal use (Laskey, 2003; Otfinoski, 2008). They are responsible for destroying the corral where they live. They are also known to cause serious forms of pollution to the environment and that makes it dangerous for the seahorses to continue living in such harsh conditions. According to a 2002 study published in the Journal of Wildlife Diseases, nine bottlenose dolphin calves were found in Virginia in 1996 and 1997 that had "died of severe blunt-force trauma.". Often the causative agent, the bacterial genus Vibrio in most cases of flesh erosion, will lay … Once the seahorse is extremely close to the prey, it is able to jerk its head extremely quickly and consume the tiny copepod. And who would have thought that such gentle, slow creatures could be so mightily fast when it comes to snagging a meal. "Hippocampus" comes from the Ancient Greek hippokampos (ἱππόκαμπος hippókampos), itself from hippos (ἵππος híppos) meaning "horse" and kampos (κάμπος kámpos) meaning "sea monster". Seahorses inhabit coastal areas around the world, and the activities of humans that impact shallow ocean environments directly affect seahorses as well. 14. Seahorse medicines are used to treat issues such as broken bones, asthma, and heart disease. 5 of Their Most Extraordinary Abilities, 10 Creatures With Exceptionally Deceptive Disguises, 8 Strange Shark Facts to Sink Your Teeth Into, 16 Ocean Creatures That Live in Total Darkness, 10 of the Largest Living Creatures in the Sea, 17 Photos of Animals Enjoying the Nightlife, Fish Food: 13 Marine Animals Named by Hungry Biologists, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. 16. They are colorful characters. Seahorses are carnivorous and feeds on small crustacea, which include daphnia, cyclops, larvae, and mysids. Seahorses, either real or mythical, have always been objects of human fascination for centuries. They are also kept in aquariums, although more aquarists are getting their seahorses from "seahorse ranches" now rather than from the wild. Seahorse (also written sea-horse and sea horse) is the name given to 46 species of small marine fish in the genus Hippocampus. Seahorses have no teeth or stomach, but they use their long snouts to suck up crustaceans and other zooplankton. Seahorses in Aquariums Due to the unique appearance of the seahorse they are a very common pet. Seahorses and Humans . In this video you see the extremes of seahorse movement -- first moving so slow you're about to turn away from boredom and then so fast you aren't sure if you actually did see it move, you just know its prey is suddenly gone. As humans mine minerals from the earth, construct houses and cities, consume fuel, and fertilize food crops with harmful pesticides, waste from these activities may work its way into the sea by process of runoff. The demand has put great risk of extinction on these timid creatures. In 1997 one of the larger known species of seahorse was sold for up to $550 a pound in Hong Kong. Seahorses Are One of the Deadliest ... in the following video that discusses first seahorse biology and then covers why they are disappearing at the hands of humans: ... 9 Dangerous … In many parts of the world, this practice is now illegal or shunned, and certain countries – such as the United States – have limits set in place for seahorse harvesting (Otfinoski, 2008; Wallis, 2004). Because of human threats such as these, the seahorse is close to becoming an endangered species. We doubt even ninjas have that kind of success rate. For example, in a number of areas around the world, raw sewage is sent directly into the water. If you picked seahorse, you're dead wrong. Humans and Seahorses Index. Cute little seahorses are DEATH MACHINES! Vote for Your Favorite Wildlife Photographer of the Year, 19 Bizarre and Beautiful Starfish Species, This Bird Pretends It's a Toxic, Spiny Caterpillar, Snakes Are Amazing! They are important predators on bottom-dwelling organisms; removing them may disrupt ecosystems. And now scientists have pinpointed the genetic pathways that led to many of its unique features, such as a loss of teeth and pelvic fins, a poor sense of smell, and the ability for males to carry and birth their young. Humans are like ungainly packets of meat when paddling in the ocean and should be easy prey compared to fast-moving fish and ... and the fewer still who swim in water inhabited by dangerous … In addition to their iconic appearance, seahorses possess many interesting attributes. Coral reefs, mangrove swamps, and sea grass beds are arguably the most endangered ocean habitats as well as the habitats where seahorses … Seahorse dads take up the role of nourishing and bringing baby seahorses to term, akin to human mums' pregnancies. Seahorses are one of the most intriguing species of marine life. I don't even have a 90% accuracy rate bringing home the right groceries from the store. Seahorses have clearly figured out how to make the most of their movements. In China, only the wealthy citizens are able to afford harvested seahorses, as the wholesale market may demand as much as $950 per pound (Wallis, 2004). Male seahorses carry the eggs in his pouch until they hatch before releasing fully formed miniature seahorses into the water. There are no other creatures like them on the planet, and people of all ages are amazed by how these animals look, behave, and move beneath the waves. Although the seahorse is a beautiful and fascinating creature, it is not kept well as a pet. According to findings recently published in the journal of Nature Communications, the seahorse is one of the ocean's deadliest assassins , by some measures even deadlier than the shark. Seahorses need to be protected for ecological, biological, economic, and medical reasons. There are around 53 different individual species of seahorses … Stress is everywhere in today’s society, and aside from being unpleasant, there are many dangerous health risks associated with it. Shutterstock/vkilikov. The smallest seahorse is a pygmy seahorse species (Hippocampus denise), and, at 16 mm long, is smaller than most fingernails! Seahorse couples are essentially serial monogamists, sticking with one partner for long periods of time. Their odd head morphology allows this technique to be successful, because it actually doesnât disturb the water very much, kind of like how a boat moves through a no wake zone in a lake. Seahorses range in size—from as small as a pine nut to as large as a banana. For a number of years, seahorses were caught, dried, and turned into decorative mementos such as pins, key rings, paperweights, and even earrings (Laskey, 2003; Otfinoski, 2008). The biggest predator though of the seahorse comes in the form of humans. “Surprisingly, seahorse dads do a lot of the same things human mums do,” said Dr Whittington. Mind-blowing. Stress-related heart attacks, anxiety, depression, and high blood pressure are on the rise nationwide. Seahorses make a disti… It's not barracuda. When mating, the female seahorse releases up to 50 eggs into a pouch on the male’s abdomen. July 9, 2014, by ELCR. Seahorses have been a topic of fascination for artists for centuries, and are still used in Asian traditional medicine. The Impact of Horses on Human Health. Unfortunately, seahorse harvesting is a lucrative business which provides a comfortable income for fishermen. Other adult seahorses can reach lengths of 35 cm. If these awful things do not stop, they are in danger of being wiped out forever. http://www.greenpeace.org/seasia/ph/Global/seasia/image/2006/8/mangrove-swamp-choked-with-dis.jpg, http://natgeotv.com.au/content/cache/600x600/gallery/seahorses-freaky-fish/SeahorseDeadOrAlive_08.jpgf; and, http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/media/images/81390000/jpg/_81390147_f6ec50b3-13c5-41b9-ba23-ba999e2157d6.jpg, http://theliquidearth.org/2012/10/seahorses-under-siege/. While some seahorses are physically adapted to match their surroundings, others can … Because of the belief that it is a magical, miracle ingredient, these animals are ground up and used in more than 80 medicinal products sold in China and other countries (Encyclopaedia Britannica Advocacy for Animals, 2007). It's not sharks. Also, now that we have your attention on these phenomenal creatures, it's a good time to mention that they are in serious danger of extinction. Learn more here, and in the following video that discusses first seahorse biology and then covers why they are disappearing at the hands of humans: Jaymi Heimbuch is a writer and photographer specializing in wildlife conservation. This approach works an astounding 90% of the time, making the seahorse one of the deadliest predators in the ocean.". This may result in an increase of nutrients that invite invasions of new organisms into the environment which can weaken or destabilize its ecosystem thereby threatening the seahorse and many other forms of ocean life (Wallis, 2004). Seahorses are usually found in shallow tropical and temperate waters across the world. Then with a lightening-fast movement of its head, the prey is in the seahorse's mouth before anyone but the seahorse realizes what just happened. The most dangerous problem with high potassium is its potential to cause the heart to stop. A fish of the most unique, one of the most bizarre creatures that can be found in the sea, perhaps the most fascinating fish, is certainly the seahorse. Pollution is a major threat to the survival of seahorses today. When we look at a seahorse, we see a creature that barely seems to move -- it seems to more drift, or float with the current. Other threats to seahorse life by humans include being overfished, being used in medicines, being made into souvenirs or decorations, and being purchased as pets. Male seahorses and sea dragons get pregnant and bear young—a unique adaptation in the animal kingdom.. Seahorses are members of the pipefish family. The number of the babies can be as little as 5 or as many as 1,500 young. “Project Seahorse is an international team of biologists, development specialists, and other professionals committed to conserving and managing seahorses, their relatives and habitats, while respecting human needs.” When seahorses are kept in an aquarium, there should not be more than four seahorses in a 100liter aquarium tank. When placed in an aquarium, the seahorse experiences stress due to an unfamiliar environment which in turn adversely affects its immune system triggering illness from which the creature cannot recover. Anthony explains new research into how these this adorable super killer does it's deadly work. No, one of the deadliest creatures in the sea is not a species we even think of as a predator at all. Remaining committed to a single partner enables seahorses to pass through multiple reproduction cycles during each mating season, heightening the likelihood of successful, continuous procreation over time. Choose the least dangerous animal in the following list: great white shark, seahorse, vampire squid. Do humans benefit from the seahorse? As humans mine minerals from the earth, construct houses and cities, consume fuel, and fertilize food crops with harmful pesticides, waste from these activities may work its way into the sea by process of runoff. Unfortunately seahorses are edible, and as regarded as a delicacy in China, Japan and other Asian countries. Seahorses graze almost constantly, using their long snouts to suck up crustaceans. Because seahorses move so slowly, they are able to sneak up on them virtually undetected. Pollution is a major threat to the survival of seahorses today. 4). Wild seahorses are not as likely to reproduce in a captive environment which is another factor that decreases seahorse population. And fast is right. Seahorses pair for life. No, seahorses are not dangerous. Their biggest threat is humans, who use them to make medicine. It's not bluefin tuna. Trichomonas vaginalis infects only humans, not seahorses. Yep, the seahorse is a shockingly good hunter. Only the male becomes pregnant and many seahorse species are mate for life. “An estimated 24.5 million seahorses are sold annually for use in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)” (Saarman, 2007, para. Raging bacterial infections such as those associated with the consumption of seahorse flesh are spread through contamination of uninfected seahorses with infected seahorses. Even in the slow-motion replay, the move is lightning fast: And a 90% accuracy?? She is the author of The Ethiopian Wolf: Hope at the Edge of Extinction. Fascinating Seahorse Facts. The seahorse is elusive and seeks shelter among coral reefs, seaweed, mangroves, and estuaries. Seahorse courtship begins with a daily "dance," during which the male and female gracefully swim together. Looking like a cross between a tiny pony and an eel, seahorses - and their close relatives, sea dragons and pipefish - don’t look like any other type of fish on the planet. It is the seahorse. Here, I'll give you a minute to absorb that.
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