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BEHAVIORAL CHARACTERISTICS SEAHORSES-Seahorses swim upright, another

characteristic that is not shared by their close pipefish relatives, who swim horizontally. Razorfish are the only other fish that swim vertically like a seahorse. Unusual among fish, seahorses have a flexible, well-defined neck. They also sport a coronet on the head, which is distinct for each individual. Related to the pipefishes. The male
seahorse is equipped with a brood pouch on the ventral, or front-facing, side of the tail. When mating, the female seahorse deposits up to 1,500 eggs in the male's pouch. The male carries the eggs for 9 to 45 days until the seahorses emerge fully developed, but very small. Once the seahorses are released into the water, the male's role is done and he offers no further care and often mates again within hours or days during the breeding season.[9] Before breeding, seahorses may court for several days. Scientists believe the courtship behavior synchronizes the animals' movements as well as reproductive state so that the male can receive the eggs when the female is ready to deposit them. During this time they may change color, swim side by side holding tails or grip the same strand of sea grass with their tails and wheel around in unison in what is known as a “pre-dawn dance". They eventually engage in a “true courtship dance" lasting about 8 hours, during which the male pumps water through the egg pouch on his trunk which expands and opens to display its emptiness. When the female’s eggs reach maturity, she and her mate let go of any anchors and snout-to-snout, drift upward out of the seagrass, often spiraling as they rise. The female inserts her ovipositor into the male’s brood pouch and deposits dozens to thousands of eggs. As the female releases her eggs, her body slims while his swells. Both animals then sink back into the seagrass and she swims away. The number of

elusive animals and it is difficult to know what is their behaviour in the wild. making the process worth the great cost to the father.young released by the male seahorse averages 100–1000 for most species.[13] Seahorses are shy. . Less than 0. we will be conducting behavioral studies with partners of captive and wild species. By captive breeding on a large enough scale this will mean the need to take wild caught individuals will stop. The eggs of most other fish are abandoned immediately after fertilization.Captive breeding projects have been set up around the world (many advised by The Seahorse Trust) looking into the possibility of mass producing Seahorses to conserve them. or as high as 2. Like almost all other fish species.5% of infants survive to adulthood. but may be as low as 5 for the smaller species.Almost 100 million Seahorses a year are taken for the Traditional Chinese Medicine trade. ensuring that the growth and survival rates are correct.500. To help us understand whether the behaviour we see in captivity goes on in the wild. seahorses do not nurture their young after birth. the male expels them with muscular contractions. All three trades are having a very negative effect on the Seahorse population in the wild to the point where they are disappearing from a number of their former ranges. When the fry are ready to be born. because of their protected gestation.Although given the right conditions Seahorses will produce large numbers of fry (young). the curio trade and the pet trade. the problem then starts with keeping them alive and if this is achieved. The Seahorse Trust has bred 22 species of Seahorse successfully (more than anyone else in the world) with two world's first breeding’s with the British species. explaining why litters are so large. the Spiny Seahorse and the Short Snouted Seahorse. Infants are susceptible to predators or ocean currents which wash them away from feeding grounds or into temperatures too extreme for their delicate bodies. These survival rates are actually fairly high compared to other fish. He typically gives birth at night and is ready for the next batch of eggs by morning when his mate returns.

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