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Seahorses may just be one of the ocean's most unique fish. Although their appearance would suggest otherwise, seahorses are members of the fish family. They have a swim bladder and breathe through gills. They have fins and scales like other fish, too.
A seahorse's pectoral fins, located just behind the head on both sides, and anal fin, located on its front just before the tail, are used for steering and keeping the seahorse upright in the water.
Its dorsal fin, located on its back, is used for propulsion, or moving through the water. This fin moves 30-70 per second to propel a seahorse through the water! Its swim bladder moves the seahorse up or down.
Seahorses swim in an upright position. Sometimes they move in pairs, holding tails.
Though they have few natural predators other than crabs, seahorses are under constant threat by humans. Seahorses are used in Chinese medicines, are sold as pets, and are dried and sold as souvenirs.
The seahorse's Latin name is hippocampus. Hippo is Latin for "horse" and campus means "sea monster." It is named for the fact that its head, with its long snout, resembles a horse's head.
The snout is used for eating and rooting around in sea plants for food. A seahorse sucks food through its snout. It doesn't have teeth or a stomach so a seahorse must eat almost constantly.
Besides its extraordinary appearance, one of the most unique facts about the seahorse is that the male carries the young. After mating, the female releases eggs into the male's brood pouch where they stay until the babies, called fry, are ready to be born 2-4 weeks later.
With more than 40 known species, seahorses are found in a wide variety of colors. Like a chameleon, they can change color to blend in to their surroundings. They may also change colors during courtship.
Help your students learn more about seahorses with the following free printables.01of 10
Print the pdf: Seahorse Vocabulary Sheet
Introduce your students to the fascinating "hippocampus" with this vocabulary worksheet. Children should use a dictionary or the internet to define each term. Then, they will write each word next to its correct definition.02of 10
Seahorse Word Search
Print the pdf: Seahorse Word Search
Students can review the terms associated with seahorses using this fun word search puzzle. Each word can be found among the jumbled letters in the puzzle. If your students have any trouble remembering the definition of any of the terms, encourage them to review the vocabulary worksheet.
Seahorse Crossword Puzzle
Print the pdf: Seahorse Crossword Puzzle
Use this crossword puzzle as a simple review of seahorse-related words. Each clue describes a term related to seahorses. See if your students can correctly complete the puzzle without referring to their completed vocabulary worksheet.04of 10
Seahorse Alphabetizing Activity
Print the pdf: Seahorse Alphabet Activity
Young students can further review seahorse terminology while practicing their alphabetizing skills. Students should write each of the terms from the word bank in correct alphabetical order on the blank lines provided.05of 10
Print the pdf: Seahorse Challenge
Use this challenge worksheet as a simple quiz to see how much your students remember about seahorses. Following each description, students should choose the correct answer from the multiple choice options.06of 10
Seahorse Reading Comprehension
Print the pdf: Seahorse Reading Comprehension Page
Young students can use this worksheet to practice their reading comprehension skills. After reading the paragraph, students should fill in the blanks with the correct answer.
Students may color the page after completing the reading comprehension exercise if they'd like.07of 10
Seahorse Theme Paper
Print the pdf: Seahorse Theme Paper
Students can practice their handwriting and composition skills by using this seahorse theme paper to write a story, poem, or essay about seahorses.08of 10
Seahorse Door Hangers
Print the pdf: Seahorse Door Hangers
Get your whole class or family excited to learn about seahorses with these door hangers. Print this page (on card stock for best results) and cut each door hanger out along the dotted line. Cut out the small circle at the top and hang the completed project on door and cabinet knobs in your home or classroom.09of 10
Seahorse Coloring Page
Print the pdf: Seahorse Coloring Page
Young children will enjoy coloring these two seahorses as they learn about this unique fish.10of 10
Seahorse Coloring Page
Print the pdf: Seahorse coloring Page
Young children who are learning to write can practice with the word seahorse and color these two seahorses.
Updated by Kris Bales