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

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. (Read more discoveries stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.