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A potbelly seahorse floats in its habitat at Shedd Aquarium.


These small, armored, tube-snouted fishes live in coral reefs and other sheltered, shallow habitats around the world.

A Tiger Tail Seahorse wraps its tail around a branch.

A fish like few others

Shedd is home to several species of seahorse, each as unique as the last. The scientific name for the seahorse, Hippocampus, comes from the Greek words meaning "horse" and "monster," but these gentle animals are actually fishes!

They’re poor swimmers, so they latch onto seagrass and corals with their prehensile tails and wait for food to drift by them, sucking up their meal with their tube-like snout.

A few years ago, the Shedd Aquarium Animal Health team took a video with an endoscope of sea horse babies inside this male’s pouch as part of an exam. In the animal world, seahorse males are the ones who get pregnant.

“You would never think of them as predators, but they are one of the most efficient in the sea. With their slow-moving, camouflaged bodies they lie in wait for the small crustaceans they hunt. ”

Mark Schick, Senior Director of Animal Operations and Habitats

Potbelly Seahorse

Weedy Seadragon