Sneaky Seahorse Creates Own No-Wake Zone
Ingenious snout makes it one of the deep's most lethal hunters, relatively speaking
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2013 2:02 PM CST

(Newser) – The seahorse is one of the lousiest, slowest swimmers in the ocean, and yet it manages to catch one of the fastest-swimming creatures of the deep with an astonishing success rate of 90%, reports the BBC. What gives? Thank that ingenious snout. Researchers discovered that it's shaped in such a way that it allows the seahorse to ever-so-slowly creep up on its prey without creating a telltale wake. Once it gets within a millimeter, it's game over, thanks to a quick-strike movement known as "pivot" feeding, explains i09.

The shape of the head "creates this zone with very little disturbance, which allows them to get really close to these very sensitive, highly evasive copepods,” one of the Texas researchers tells National Geographic. As for those copepods, they are tiny crustaceans that can pick up on the wave movements of predators and zip away at speeds that Aquaman would envy—500 body lengths per second, or the equivalent of a human swimming 2,000mph. All the more incredible that the poky seahorse "can overcome one of the most talented escape artists in the aquatic world," says the researcher.