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Scientists reveal how the seahorse got its shape

Many biologists and evolutionary theorists have pondered over the peculiar shape of the seahorse. New research indicates that the animal's s-curve figure is the result of evolution that allowed the creature to be a better hunter, according to The Daily Mail.

Scientists looked to the animal's closest relative to make this recent discovery. The pipefish has a straight body and must swim toward its prey when hunting. However, the seahorse's arched back and neck allow it to hover in water and wait for its prey to swim by.

Researcher Dr. Sam Van Wassenbergh analyzed footage of a seahorse shot on a high-speed camera. This allowed him and his team to watch the creature's movements 66 times slower than actual speed. He noticed that the animal's bent neck gave it a larger "strike zone" with which to catch passing critters.

"They rotate their heads upwards to bring their mouth close to the prey," Wassenbergh told the news source. "Every extra millimeter you can reach becomes important because it means more food."

Seahorses are some of the only fish that are monogamous and mate for life. They are also the only species on Earth in which the male is responsible for carrying the unborn offspring, according to National Geographic.
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