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Common seahorse.jpg

A relatively large species, the common seahorse (Hippocampus kuda) is unfortunately not as common as its name suggests, and is considered Vulnerable by the IUCN. Like all seahorses, the head of the common seahorse is held at right angles to the body, the eyes can move independently of each other, and the tail is prehensile. Instead of having scales, as in most other fish, seahorses have a layer of skin stretched over bony plates that are visible as rings passing around the trunk . Swimming is powered by the rapidly oscillating dorsal fin, and the seahorse steers using the fins on either side of the body (the pectoral fins). The common seahorse has a deep head and body and a thick, robust snout. Individuals are often completely black, or they may be yellowish or cream with large dark spots. In common with other seahorses, this species is a master of camouflage, and may occasionally be sandy in color in order to blend in with the background.