Sea Horse, a small bony fish closely related to the pipefish. The head of the sea horse is shaped like that of a horse. Its body, 1/2 to 14 inches (1.3 to 36 cm) long depending on the species, is covered with rings of bony plates and ends in a long curved tail. Small fins are located on both sides of the head and on the back. The sea horse has a long toothless snout.

There are approximately 35 species of sea horses, most of which are found in shallow coastal seas, hiding among sea grass beds or coral. The sea horse swims upright with its head bent downward; it is a slow, weak swimmer. The sea horse protects itself by mimicking vegetation; to do this, it anchors itself to plants and other objects by curling its tail around them. The sea horse feeds on tiny crustaceans and fish larvae. The female deposits eggs in the male's brood pouch, a fold of skin above the tail, where they are fertilized. After 45 to 50 days the young hatch and emerge from the pouch, able to care for themselves.

The habitats of sea horses are threatened by pollution, dredging, and trawling for other kinds of marine animals. Dried sea horses are sold as souvenirs and for use in folk medicines. The dwarf sea horse, which is about two inches (5 cm) long, is a popular aquarium fish; however, it is difficult to keep healthy.

The sea horseThe sea horse is covered with rings of bony plates and has a long toothless snout.

The dwarf sea horse is Hippocampus zosterae. Sea horses belong to the family Syngnathidae.