A sea horse spends much of its time upright in water. Its head resembles that of a horse, held at right angles to its body. It stays in vertical position while swimming too. They have a slim finless tail which is capable of grasping. The tail can get wrapped around the sea weeds for support. They only live in a shallow weedy areas especially eel grass bed. They grip on to the grasses in order to protect themselves from being washed away by strong currents and waves.
A sea horse neither looks nor acts like a typical fish. A tube like snout protruding from its head helps to suck food. They eat plankton and small crustaceans that drift by. They are voracious eaters and consume about 3000 or more shrimps per day.
The sea horse species is under threat for various reasons, important one being their use in traditional Chinese medicine. About 70 tons of sea horses are being sold yearly for use in Chinese medicine as a remedy for urinary incontinence, asthma, high cholesterol levels etc. Apart from this, they are caught for use as aquarium fish, souvenirs and tonic food.