User login

Powered by Drupal, an open source content management system
Follow Me on Pinterest

Care to comment? See our FaceBook page

Seahorses hunt by stealth

Seahorses may be slow swimmers yet capture evasive prey using a technique known as the ‘pivot’ feeding
Satomi's pygmy seahorse
Their peculiar snouts are shaped to create very few ripples in the water, effectively cloaking them as they creep up and pounce on tiny crustaceans

The seahorse is one the slowest swimming fish we know of, but it's able to capture prey that swim at incredible speeds

—Brad Gemmell, main author

This feeding mode involves rapid movement to overcome prey escape capabilities and only functions only at short range.

The secret behind approaching very close to sensitive prey without triggering an escape lies in shape of its head and in particular the snout.

When copepods which seahorses prey on. detect waves from an approaching predator they jolt away at incredible speeds. The seahorse's snout is shaped to minimise the disturbance of water in front of its mouth before it strikes. Above and in front of its nostrils is a "no wake zone" and it angles its head precisely to attack its prey.

The need to approach prey with stealth may have selected for a head shape that produces lower hydrodynamic disturbance than other fish.

Further reading â–º

Facebook Comments Box