Did you know that seahorses are fish?
If you don't, that's because there is so much about the Seahorse that makes people go: "Nah. That can't be a fish!"
Its tail is a top contender.
Certain animals have tails that are prehensile. Prehensile means "able to grasp". A prehensile tail can wrap around objects and hold onto them tightly.
The prehensile tail is predominantly an adaptation among mammals.
Examples of animals with prehensile tail include howler monkeys, spider monkeys, woolly monkeys, capuchin monkeys, opossum and anteaters.
Monkeys use their prehensile tail to grasp branches like an extra hand.
Seahorses use their prehensile tail in very much the same way, like a hand for grasping and holding.
Now, compare a prehensile monkey tail to a fish tail. Isn't it bizarre for a fish to have a monkey-like prehensile tail?
And that's the kind of tail found on Seahorses. Bizarre!!!
All Seahorses have is their small dorsal fin as propellor. They are slow. They are the slowest fish. Swimming is just not their thing if you call that swimming.
Since Seahorses are such poor swimmers, they do not move around all that much but spend most of their time just hanging on to objects.
Seahorses use their tails as hands and curl them around corals, seaweeds, grasses and plants and hold on tight. Usually, they keep very still as well, to remain undetected by prey and predators.
Grasping objects tightly also prevent them from being swept away by currents.
Seahorses can become very friendly and attached to their human friend. They may dance and twirl to greet their keeper. Here's an example
One form of greeting is to wrap themselves around the keeper's finger. They may also grab fingers as the keeper is doing work in the tank.
Seahorses that are very used to people will hold strangers' hands too!
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