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Clip art "A horse in the water"  Clip art

Spotted Pacific Seahorse Domain: Eukarya
     Kingdom: Animali (Animal)
          Phylum: Chordata (Chordate)
     Class: Osteichthyes (Bony Fish)
Order: Gasterosteifor (Pipefish and Sticklebacks)
     Family: Syngnathidae (Pipefish and Seahorse)
          Genus: Hippocampus (Seahorse)
     Species: Hippocampus ingens (Pacific Seahorse)

Taken by Carlos Restrepo

     The Pacific Seahorse is the largest of all the seahorses. It can be up to 12 inches (30cm) long. The seahorse is part of the bony fish class; the unique feature is that the head is in the shape of a horse’s head. The Pacific Seahorse comes in a variety of colors, depending on its surroundings and the water temperature. They are also able to change their colors to match their surroundings. They have a long circular snout to catch prey and a long curly tail, which allows it to grab a hold of coral and sea grass. It uses gills for breathing and also has a swim bladder that lets the seahorse control its buoyancy. Pacific seahorses have three fins, two pectoral fins and one dorsal fin. The pectoral fins are used for balance that flap back and forth as fast as 35 times per second, for stabilization and to move up and down. The dorsal fin allows the seahorse to move back and forth. Seahorses can not swim very fast to get away from predators or catch prey so they hide in the coral anSeahorse clip artd seagrass until their meal comes along or until their predator leaves.
     The Pacific Seahorse is a complex multicellular organism which puts it in the domain Eukarya. They are heterotrophic and lack cell walls which is why it is classified in the Animali kingdom. It is classified in the Chordata phylum because it has a postnatal tail, notochord and dorsal nerve cord. This organism has a bony vertebrae and lives in the water which makes it classify in the Osteichthyes class. They are separated in the order Gasterosteifor because the males are the ones that nurse the eggs in a brood pouch. They are classified in the family Syngnathidae because of the same head morphology (adult seahorse and larval pipefish) and because they both have a long tubular toothless mouth. The seahorses and pipefish are separated by their body shape (pipefish are completely long and thin; where as the seahorse has a head shaped as a horse and swims in an up right position) which puts the seahorses in the genus Hippocampus. The Pacific Seahorses are the largest and found in the Pacific Ocean, species Hippocampus ingens.