Lined Seahorse - Behavior


A unique characteristic of the lined seahorse (and other species of seahorse) is their practice of monogamy: the male and female seahorses choose partners that they will continue to mate with for their lifetime. The monogamous characteristics of the lined seahorse include ritual dances with their partner that they perform every morning. These dances establish their permanent relationship as mates. If a male or female lined seahorse should lose their partner for any reason, it takes time before they replace their mate.

Lined seahorses are weak swimmers; they swim in an erect position. In comparison to their fins, the lined seahorse's body is too large, another reason why they are poor swimmers. They do not swim for long periods of time, nor do they travel far distances, unless they are migrating. The lined seahorse propels its body forward with its dorsal and pectoral fins, which they move rapidly back and forth. These fins are also utilized in directing their bodies throughout the water and beat twenty to thirty times per second, making them almost invisible at first glance.

In addition to monogamy, the lined seahorse also cues into sound-making in the mating process. The seahorses have a crown-like bony crest called a coronet located on the backside of their head at the edge of the skull. Each coronet is unique to the organism, just as a fingerprint is unique to every human. The coronet resembles a star pattern and is attached rather loosely and has sharp edges. As the seahorse lifts its head, the edge of the skull slides beneath the coronet and out when the seahorse bows its head. As the skull's edge slides beneath and out from the coronet, a clicking sound is produced. Mating seahorses swim slowly together, alternating their clicking sounds, until they embrace one another. Once the male and female seahorse embrace, the sounds from both the male and female unify, becoming indistinguishable from one another. This action creates a louder, consecutive sound, further establishing their bond.

Read more about this topic:  Lined Seahorse

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