CLASSIFICATION OF HIPPOCAMPUS (SEA HORSE)
Phylum :- CHORDATA (Notochord and dorsal tubular nerve cord present and gill-slits present).
Group :- CRANIATA (Cranium with brain present).
Subphylum :- VERTEBRATA (Vertebral column present).
Division :- GNATHOSTOMATA (Jaws and paired appendages present).
Super class :- PISCES (Paired fins , gills and skin with scales)
Class :- OSTEICHTHYES (Bony fishes).
SUB-CLASS :- ACTINOPTYERGII (Ray finned fish).
SUPER ORDER :- TELEOISTEI (Bony fish proper).
Order :- SOLENICHTHYES (Pipe-fish and sea horses. Mouth at the end of a tubular snout. Male with brood pouch. Fins minute).
FAMILY :- SYNGNATHIDAE
GENUS :- Hippocampus
Hippocampus has cosmopolitan distribution, found in almost all warm sea waters, specially in India, Japan, China and Malaysian Archipelago. Cretaceous to Recent. It is represented by several species in the Indian Ocean.
HABIT AND HABITAT
- They swim upright swaying their tails and gyrating their trunks in graceful manner, holding a weed with their tails.
GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF HIPPOCAMPUS (SEA HORSE)
- Commonly called as sea-horse because its anterior end is shaped like the neck and head of a horse.
- Body is divided into head, trunk and tail. Size varies from 5 to 17 cm.
- Head is produced anteriorly into tubular snout and backwardly into a crest. Mouth is found at the end of snout. Eyes are situated on the upper side of head. There are two super orbital spines backwards directed and outwards.
- Some species have fine trailing filaments over the body.
- Body is covered by a rigid exoskeletal armour of ring-like bony plates.
- Gill clefts are reduced to a small opening. Gills are of special type in the form of special tufts and covered by operculum.
- Dorsal fin is single, ventral and caudal fins are absent.
- A small transparent pectoral fin is found on either side of head.
- Females have a small anal fin. Males contain brood pouches, which carry eggs until they hatch.
- Tail is prehensile.
- Hippocampus is a vertically swimming fish. It has strongly deviated from fish-like appearance with arching neck and snout like horse, abdomen like pigeon and prehensile tail like Langur monkey. Sea horse is a very amusing and most familiar fish. It swims vertically with its majestic snout
- This fish has horse shaped head and snout and above features, hence it is Hippocampus.
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