Seahorses, which range from less than an inch to a foot (one to 30 centimetres) in length, have evolved a series of unusual adaptations; a prehensile tail for clinging to underwater vegetation, a tubelike mouth for sucking in tiny crustaceans, and protective bony plates in their skin.
The male seahorse has a pouch on its stomach in which to carry babies as many as 2,000 at a time. Pregnancy lasts from 10 to 25 days, depending on the species.
The reproductive process begins when a male and a female seahorse do daily pre-dawn dances, intertwining their tails and swimming together. Eventually, they engage in a true courtship dance, which can last as long as eight hours. It ends with the female depositing her eggs in the male's pouch. Male fertilizes the eggs inside the pouch. His pouch is a complex organ that regulates temperature, blood flow and water salinity for the eggs as they hatch so the babies are as prepared as possible for life in the ocean.