IT MAY BE EXCITING TO FIND SEAHORSES ON DIVES – but watching them is like watching grass grow. They’re inept swimmers, so they rarely swim unless they have to. But it turns out that seahorses are super-predators, more than 90 percent effective at bagging their prey – mostly tiny shrimp and copepods.
WHY SEAHORSES ARE SUPER-PREDATORS – ANATOMY & SPEED
One study using high-speed video to record seahorses’ movements found that the seahorse’s curved-body architecture increased their speed and distance for lunging at its crustacean-prey, giving them as much as a 20 percent strike-distance advantage compared to the pipefish from which they evolved.
As poor swimmers, they spend their time anchored to gorgonians or corals But it turns out that being anchored facilitates their speed and distance when they lunge.
Another study found that they captured their intended prey 90 percent of the time.This was the best record of any fish tested. Normally, the prey in question – tiny copepods – can sense vibrations in the water caused by a predator’s movement and bolt away at extremely high speeds.
WHY SEAHORSES ARE SUPER-PREDATORS IS IN THE VIDEO…
The discovery News video linked above – “Seahorses are Super Killers” – discusses these and other seahorse predator facts.
…AND ALSO IN THE ARTICLE
This Poseidon’s Web article – Seahorses – Inept and Really Good at What They Do – discusses seahorse predation, anatomy and lifestyle in general.