The Seahorse Tail: A Geometric Beauty

New scientific research adds insight into the benefit of a seahorse’s square-shaped tail.

Published July 22, 2015

Unlike those of most animals, the cross-section of a seahorse tail is shaped like a square prism rather than the usual cylinder. Their skeleton consists of a bony armor that’s arranged into several ring like segments shaped like L’s around the vertebra.

seahorse tail
 
Muscles attached to the vertebral column force the bony L-shaped segments in the seahorse’s tail to provide motion for grasping and holding onto objects such as sea grasses, mangrove roots, and coral reefs which camouflage them from evading predators.
 
The seahorse’s tail is a unique structure that allows many advantages than cylinder tails such as flexibility, motion, and the grasping of objects. 

Longsnout Seahorse

Due to the effective nature of the tails, seahorse tails are now becoming inspiration for search-and-rescue equipment, medicine, and more!
 
To learn more about this study, check out Science Magazine’s report.

Previous Post

Featured Stories

Marie Tharp the harp seal Animal Rescue Update: Harp Seal Admitted

National Aquarium Animal Rescue is currently caring for a female harp seal nicknamed Marie Tharp.

Read the full story

Cold-stunned turtle on beach Rescue to Release, Part 1: Is Climate Change Increasing Cold-Stunned Turtles?

Every year, when cold weather starts to hit the East Coast, hundreds of endangered, cold-stunned sea turtles wash ashore in Cape Cod Bay.

Read the full story

Related Stories

Amazing Animal Hearts

Published February 13, 2019

Octopuses Have Heart (Actually, Three!)

Published February 08, 2019