Nowadays Hippocampus counts almost 20 species, including Hippocampus ingens (dwelling in Pacific ocean), Hippocampus reidi (longsnout seahorse), Hippcampus erectus (Northern seahorse), Hippocampus kuda (the yeallow seahorse) and many others.
"Despite previous taxonomic classifications as insects and amphibians, they are fish, cousins to pipefish and sea dragons, from the family Syngnathidae, Greek for "fused jaws." Like most fish they have gills for breathing, a swimbladder for buoyancy, two pectoral fins for balance, and dorsal fins that flutter as much as 35 times per second" (Arrigoni, 1989, p.358). As one can see at the picture below, seahorses have no teeth, caudal fin for speed and stomach, as the last part is replaced in seahorse morphology by enormous tail, used for great speed development.
In spite of their beauty and grace, seahorses serve as the Frankensteins of underwater 'society', as they are apparently made of various animals' body parts. As their name shows, seahorses have vertical body and horse's head, situated perpendicularly to the body. Furthermore, seahorse has a kind of crown on its head, and what is most amazing about this body part is the fact that this coronet is as unique as human DNA (Lourie et al, 1999).
In addition, their body armor is quite...
Their snout and body armor resemble an aardvark's.In terms of their ability to change coloration, seahorses resemble chameleons, as they also mimicre in accordance with the environment colors. "Also with lizards, they share independently moving eyes, assisting both survival and predation tactics. They've borrowed prehensile tails from monkeys, and made a major alteration to the brood pouch of marsupials, with male seahorses nurturing their young" (Lourie et al, 1999, p.231).
(from Long, 1995, p.192)
As for the reproduction and prenatal behavior, seahorses are distinguished due to the unusual behavior of male individuals, or so-called mating rituals, which are typically attributed to the animal classes as well as to some fish species. Moreover, male individuals usually carry and accept fertilized eggs to order to extort brood in future, as both females and females have prolactin, the hormone that allows this form of hermaphroditic reproduction (Arrigoni, 1989). "Individuals reach sexual maturity by the next breeding season following birth, at the ripe age of three months to a year, depending on size of the species. Breeding seasons vary by species and may be restricted by cooler weather or monsoons, though some go year-round" (ibid, p.188).
In particular, H. ingens is able to breed at 12 months, and it is important to note that couples are monogamous as a rule. During the breeding season, pair bonds are encouraged by daily greetings, when individuals prepare an entire performance for each other: change colors, dance and then promenade together by entwining their tails. Furthermore, the female individual puts its oviopositor into the male's brood pouch in order to transmit