How do sea horses get their food?


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Jack Buckby answered
Seahorses have cleverly adapted in order to access their food.

  • Camouflage

Seahorses have, over the years, developed very effective camouflage which helps them to blend in seamlessly with their surroundings. As a result, they can move around, unnoticed by their prey, until it is too late.

  • Attacking

Seahorses cannot move very quickly or for very long periods of time. As a result, one method used by seahorses is to stay extremely still so that they are unnoticed by their prey. When the prey comes close enough, the seahorse will be able to strike and eat its prey without having to move too much.

  • Visiting the sea floor

Seahorses tend to live in shallow waters found close to the coast of in coral reefs. As a result, it is not difficult for them to scour the sea floor for food such as mysid shrimps and other small crustaceans. Another advantage of getting food from the sea floor is that the seahorse can simply move downwards rather than chasing its prey through the waters. Furthermore, seahorses can use their tails to anchor themselves into the sea floor, or to hold on to any aquatic flora, when they are searching for food on the sea floor - this allows them to conserve energy for attacking or chasing their prey, and to remain very still in order to surprise their prey.

  • Seahorses in captivity

In aquariums or privately-owned fish tanks, seahorses tend not to cope very well. This is partly because of the diet seahorses need to survive - they tend to eat animals such as brine shrimp, which are very uncommon and difficult for owners of seahorses to access. In addition, seahorses eat very slowly, so if they are kept in a tank with other animals which eat more quickly, they are at risk of dying of starvation or malnutrition.

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