The seahorse, including several species in the genus Hippocampus, is one of the most unusual in appearance of all fishes. Its upright position, horse-like head set at right angles to the body, and jointed armor make it resemble a knight in a chess set. The seahorse has a prehensile tail, which it uses to hold onto seaweed and coral. The scales have been replaced by rings of about 50 rectangular bony plates, encasing the body in a semi-rigid skeleton. The eyes can swivel independently or converge to achieve binocular vision. The most distinguishing feature between the male and the female seahorse is the kangaroo-like pouch that the male has on its ventral side, used for reproduction. (Grolier, 1996)
Hippocampus erectus is a large species of seahorse, growing up to 5 inches long. H. erectus is easily separated from other species of seahorse by a pattern of dark lines on a lighter background in its coloring. H. erectus also has 18 to 21 dorsal-fin rays. (Bohlke and Chaplin, 1968, pg. 183)
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