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Seahorses, Seadragons and Pipefish

Seahorses, Seadragons and Pipefish are a curious group of creatures which all belong to the Syngnathidae family.

As members of the same family they share some interesting traits; Their jaws are fused to form a straw-like snout, instead of scales they have thin skin stretched over a series of bony plates and they are slow swimmers.

Perhaps the coolest thing about this group is that the males brood their babies! A male Seahorse has a brooding pouch on its belly into which a female can place her eggs. After a few weeks when the babies are ready, the male Seahorse gives birth. He rocks back and forth like a rocking-horse whilst the tiny baby seahorses pop out from a small hole in his tummy.

You can discover these amazing creatures as you journey into ‘Seahorse Temple’ during your visit. Scroll down to read more!

Here at SEA LIFE London we have successfully breed 5 species of seahorse and pipefish. When we have babies these can sometimes be seen on the Behind the Scenes Tour!

Don't miss our Seahorse Talk & Feed which takes place at 4pm daily!

The SEA LIFE Trust is working to protect seahorses and the habitats on which they depend.

Here at SEA LIFE London we have successfully breed 5 species of seahorse and pipefish. When we have babies these can sometimes be seen on the Behind the Scenes Tour!

Here at SEA LIFE London we have successfully breed 5 species of seahorse and pipefish. When we have babies these can sometimes be seen on the Behind the Scenes Tour!

Don't miss our Seahorse Talk & Feed which takes place at 4pm daily!

Don't miss our Seahorse Talk & Feed which takes place at 4pm daily!

The SEA LIFE Trust is working to protect seahorses and the habitats on which they depend.

The SEA LIFE Trust is working to protect seahorses and the habitats on which they depend.

Seahorses

You can find seahorses in oceans all over the world! There are over 40 species. Some live on coral reefs, others amoungst mangrove roots and many life in seagrass meadows. Pigmy Seahorses are as tiny as your little finger nail, but Big-belly Seahorses will be even bigger than your hand!

 Their Ancient Greek name is Hippocampus, which means ‘horse sea monster’. But we don't think our seahorses are monsters at all!

 Unfortunately, seahorses are at risk of extinction due to the pollution and destruction of their habitat. 150 million seahorses are also captured and killed every year to use in traditional medicine.

 SEA LIFE campaigns to help protect vital seahorse habitats.

Weedy Seadragons

Weedy Seadragons are only found to the waters off south and east Australia. They hover and bob through the water slowly, drifting on the current like a piece of seaweed.

Seadragons have slender, bony bodies, striped in rich purple, vibrant orange and ruby red; mimicking the seaweed and kelp in which they hide.

Fortunately they are well protected by the Australian government from fishing, however they are still threatened by pollution, habitat loss and global warming.

 

 

Pipefish

Pipefish are masters of disguise; their slim, elegant bodies look just like the seagrasses and seaweeds in which they live.

Like Seahorses and Seadragons they prey on tiny plankton which they suck up food through their straw-like snouts at lightening speed. Look for the tell-tale puff of shredded shell from their gills when they've just caught a tasty morsel!