5-speed listening (Level 2)

Scientists unlock secrets to seahorses






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For the first time, scientists know the secrets to one of the world's most recognizable but least understood fish – the seahorse. Researchers worked out the genome of the tiger tail seahorse. A genome is a map of all the genes and genetic information in a living thing. Scientists can now find out a lot more about seahorses. They can find out why seahorses are so different to other fish. Seahorses have no teeth. Male seahorses carry babies and give birth to them instead of females. Also, seahorses do not swim horizontally like other fish; they swim vertically (up and down).

Seahorses started to change about 100 million years ago. They began to not look like other fish and get their unusual shape. They began to look like the neck and head of a horse. There are 54 different types of seahorse. The scientific name for a seahorse is Hippocampus. This word comes from the Ancient Greek words hippos, which means 'horse' and kampos, which means 'sea monster'. Perhaps we should call them seahorse monsters. The word 'seahorse' can also be written as two separate words (sea horse), or with a dash (sea-horse).

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