For first time, scientists have unlocked secrets to one of world's most recognizable and unique, but least understood fish – seahorse. Researchers have worked out genetic code of the Southeast Asian tiger tail seahorse. They now have genetic map of all of its DNA. This means scientists can find out lot more about this sea creature than before. They can now start to figure out why seahorses are so different to other fish. Unlike other fish, seahorses have no teeth. Another difference is male brooding of their young - male seahorses carry babies and give birth to them instead of females. In addition, seahorses do not swim horizontally like other fish; they swim vertically (up and down).
Scientists from Germany’s University of Konstanz and others from China and Singapore helped to sequence genome of tiger tail seahorse. A genome is map of all the genes and genetic information in cell or organism. Seahorses started to change from other fish about 100 million years ago. They began to take on their unusual shape, which resembles horse. There is total of 54 species of seahorse. Its scientific name is Hippocampus. word 'Hippocampus' comes from Ancient Greek word hippos meaning 'horse' and kampos meaning 'sea monster'. The word 'seahorse' can also be written as two separate words (sea horse), or hyphenated with dash between two words (sea-horse).