seahorse facts for kids, seahorse books for kids

Seahorse Facts: Seahorse Fathers Do Get Pregnant!

Do you think seahorses are magical too? There is something about having a head like a horse, a tail like a monkey, and skin color that can change like a chameleon. It doesn’t surprise me that Poseidon is the father of horses in Greek Mythology!

Seahorse Facts

Did you know that father seahorses hatch the eggs?! Male seahorses have special pouches for the eggs and part of the courtship routine to win a female includes inflating their pouch by pumping water through it to display its emptiness in order to entice the female to deposit her eggs in it.

The eggs develop in the pouch for two to six weeks, depending on species and temperature, until they become fully formed juveniles called fry. When the male seahorse is ready to give birth, he has muscular contractions to expel the young from the pouch. I wonder if the contractions are as painful as human ones?

Newborns measure between two and twelve millimetres, depending on species. The number of young produced ranges between 100 and 200 for most species, but can be as low as 5 for the smaller species, or more than 1,500 for larger species. from The Seahorse Project

There is amazing biodiversity of seahorses too because camouflage plays an important part in the ecology of the seahorse. Did you spot the seahorse?  What do you think this seahorse resembles? This is the Leafy Seadragon.

How about this seahorse? What do you think it look like? This is the Weedy Seadragon. The weedy seadragon (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus) is found off the coast of Australia and looks like a cross between a kangaroo, a seahorse and a bit of seaweed.

There are only 35 known species of seahorses and they mostly reside near Australia, China and the Phillipines. But they magical appearance also puts them in danger since they are sought after as medicine and souvenirs. They are also sold for aquariums in North American but most these seahorses are juveniles where they usually die within a short period.

Seahorses also face habitat degradation and destruction due to coastal development, marine pollution, coral reef destruction, and land-based deforestation. Deforestation leads to increased siltation in surrounding marine waters, thereby suffocating sea grass bed and killing coral reefs. information from Endanged Species International

Seahorse Lifecycle Unit

Want to learn more about seahorses or do a home study unit? Try A Seahorse Lifecycle: Father Knows Best!  from Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Seahorse Books for Kids

Mr. Seahorse by Eric Carle

Mr. Seahorse truly becomes pregnant. Mrs. Seahorse lays her eggs in Mr. Seahorse’s belly and he takes care of them. He’s not the only father on duty. Mr. Tilapia carries his babies in his mouth. Mr. Kurtus keeps his babies on his head and Mr. Catfish watches his babies. This is the perfect first picture book to learn about seahorses! [picture book, ages 2-6]

Fry to Seahorse (Lifecycles) by Camilla de la Bedoyere

This non fiction picture book uses full spread photographs to detail the interesting life cycle of the seahorse including the father’s hatching the eggs in their bellies!  [non fiction picture book, ages 5 and up]

The Secret Sea Horse (Mermaid Tales) by Debbie Dadey

Dadey’s Mermaid Tales series focuses on the relationships between the young mermaid girls at Trident Academy but this one slips in a pet seahorse and whether or not they are happier swimming freely. It’s a subtle way to draw girls into science! [easy chapter book, ages 6 and up]

To examine any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom

20 Comments

  1. Elle Carter Neal

    I love seahorses and seadragons; there is something very mystical and zen about them. Beautiful creatures.
    Elle Carter Neal recently posted…How to Talk to PeopleMy Profile

  2. My children and I had a collection of seahorses in our home for a while. They are truly fascinating creatures to watch!

  3. Jeanette Nyberg

    I love seahorses so much, too. I could stare at them all day, those crazy little beasts.
    Jeanette Nyberg recently posted…The Field Museum Explores its Birth: 1893 World’s Fair ExhibitMy Profile

  4. I feel so lucky that we go to Monterey Bay Aquarium at least twice a year. I love their seahorse exhibit!
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  5. Rae

    i did not know seahorses changed colors! how did i not know this? wow. thanks for sharing Mia. loved the videos.
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  6. Seahorses fascinate me. We need to get to the Monterey Bay aquarium to see their seahorse exhibit!
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  7. Catherine

    I love seahorses and included some in a draft of an old pb manuscript. This is making me want to edit that story next. Thanks, Mia!
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  8. fariba

    I love seahorse so much,these are very beautiful (color ,shape). Thank you so much , Mia!

  9. Sonia

    I immensely like seahorses as they are amazing creatures exhibiting the weird phenomenon of male pregnancy.

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