Simply Seahorses Quiz | Fish (2024)

Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts

1. The name "seahorse" comes from the fact that they live in the sea and look like they have the head of a horse. Seahorses are members of the genus Hippocampus, which is a combination of Greek words meaning what?

Answer: horse monsterPoseidon was the Greek god of the sea and of horses, so a mixture of the two was inevitable. In mythology, the hippocamp (or hippocampus) is depicted as having the front of a horse and a long, coiling, fish tail.

"Hippopotamus" means "river horse".

2. Seahorses are members of the genus Hippocampus. Even if you do not own a seahorse, you do have a hippocampus. Where is it?

Answer: brainThe name for the hippocampus is attributed to Julius Caesar Aranzi (1529/1530 - 1589), an anatomist, because this part of the brain looks like a seahorse. It is involved with memory, spatial memory, and navigation.

The fund-raising mascot for the National Society for Epilepsy (UK) is Caesar the Seahorse, because the hippocampus is usually affected during epilepsy. Caesar the Seahorse is named for the Roman Emperor, Julius Caesar (who had epilepsy), not for the anatomist Julius Caesar Aranzi who named the hippocampus.

3. Seahorses have a tail that curls forward - what do they use their tail for?

Answer: grabbingSeahorses use their prehensile tails to anchor themselves in place and for courtship.

Males will also "tail-wrestle" to exert dominance.

4. Are seahorses strong swimmers?

Answer: No Seahorses are poor swimmers that swim upright, using a dorsal fin to go forward and their pectoral fins, which are behind their eyes and could be mistaken for "ears", for balance and direction. They don't have a caudal fin like most other fish, but they do have a swim bladder.

Seahorses can actually die of exhaustion if they lose their grip during rough seas, such as during a storm, and cannot make it back home.

5. Seahorses share many of the same characteristic features of a chameleon. Which of the following do a seahorse and chameleon not have in common?

Answer: a long tongueSeahorses change color to match their surroundings, usually the coral or plants that they live around. However, they can turn bright colors in different situations, especially during courtship.

Seahorses suck food in through their long snouts, not by grabbing it with a tongue.

6. Seahorses are an unusual fish, but they are a fish. Which of the following body parts do seahorses possess?

Answer: gillsSeahorses do possess gills, although they are unusually shaped in "tufts".

Seahorses do not have a stomach, and cannot store food. As a result, healthy seahorses constantly eat. Lack of appetite is an indication that the seahorse is not healthy.

7. In seahorses (and other members of the family Syngnathinae, such as pipefish), the male seems to become pregnant. Does this happen in any other fish?

Answer: No The male seahorse has a pouch that opens during mating. The female places the eggs in the pouch with her ovipositor and the male carries the fertilized eggs until they hatch and emerge. One theory about this male pregnancy is that with the males taking care of the fertilized eggs, the female can work on creating more eggs for the next reproductive cycle.

Once the new seahorses emerge, they are on their own. In fact, the father may eat a few of them.

8. Are all seahorses monogamous (one female and one male mate exclusively)?

Answer: No Although National Geographic and other sources report that seahorses " are monogamous and mate for life," further research has discovered a variety of mating habits among seahorses. In many seahorse species, the female will return to the male during the pregnancy for a few minutes each day, interacting with the male in a manner similar to the mating/courtship (which can last for 8 hours). These "morning greetings" are believed to be important in maintaining the mating pair bond, as separation of the pair during this period has been shown to induce the female to change mates.

9. Do any seahorses live in freshwater?

Answer: No Some seahorses live in brackish water, but not freshwater.

There are fish that are sold as "freshwater seahorses", but they are varieties of pipefish, which are from the same Syngnathidae family as seahorses.

10. What is the biggest threat to seahorses?

Answer: use in medicinesOver 20 million seahorses are caught for use in "traditional" medicine in countries such as China.

For the aquarium hobbyist, "Wild Caught", or WC, seahorses do not perform as well in captivity as "Captive Bred", or CB, seahorses. WC seahorses are also more difficult to feed, and usually insist on live food instead of freeze-dried.

Source: Author jcpetersen

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor crisw before going online.
Any errors found in FunTrivia content are routinely corrected through our feedback system.

Simply Seahorses Quiz | Fish (2024)
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