Did you know that a seahorse is any of 46 species of small marine fish in the genus Hippocampus? “Hippocampus” comes from the Ancient Greek hippokampos — from hippos, meaning horse, and kampos, meaning sea monster. (Although some argue that kampos means caterpillar.) Of course, we know sea horses hardly look like monsters. But with their super cool exoskeletons, we can see why they might have really freaked out people a few hundred years ago! Today, people enjoy seahorses for the adorable and mysterious creatures they are. After all, we’re not catching seahorses on our beach vacations (please don’t ever try). Most of us only see actual seahorses at fancy aquariums, where they might be lit up with black lights and surrounded by a dozen other people all oohing and ahhing. To help introduce your curious kids to these creatures full of magic and whimsy, we created a collection of super-cute seahorse coloring pages.
As a bonus to you, coloring is more than just an easy and quiet activity — it’s beneficial to children’s development and school readiness, too. For example, depending on your little one’s age, coloring might help them transition from a palmar grasp to a tripod grasp when holding their colored pencils or crayons. Also a ton of fun? The more they practice focusing on one activity, the longer they’ll be able to do it. Imagine how much you can get done once your child can spend an entire 45 minutes on the same activity with little guidance from you, their unpaid cruise director.
So, print out these free seahorse coloring pages and queue the Netflix! You’re on your way to nearly endless free time. OK, OK, maybe more like 20 minutes of free time. However, you can prolong the educational enrichment (read: Peace and quiet) by having your little one swim over to our other aquatic coloring pages, including dolphin coloring pages, whale coloring pages, shark coloring pages, and octopus coloring pages.
Free Printable Seahorse Coloring Pages
Seahorse No. 1
Do you ever call your kiddo “small fry?” You’ll be happy to know that this cute baby nickname is even more precious than you imagined. “Fry” is actually the technical name for a baby seahorse. And did you know human aren’t the only one that date? Seahorses dance with their partners each day. They twirl and twist together for minutes and sometimes even hours. They do this to make sure its partner is still committed to the relationship (and alive). So romantic!
Seahorse No. 2
These little ones mostly eat small crustaceans. Now that you know how tiny they are, would you believe that a single fry can eat around 3,000 pieces of food each day? (Then again, we’ve seen a toddler with a bag of Goldfish Crackers. Soooo, yes. We believe it.) And when they reach adulthood they eat anywhere between 30 to 50 times a day. It’s always snack time for a seahorse.
Seahorse No. 3
How do seahorses eat, though? They do so by using their long snouts to suck (or slurp) food from crevices. Their snouts can even stretch and expand to allow consumption of food that is bigger than their snouts.
Fun fact: due to their exoskeleton exterior, seahorses don’t have many natural predators, save for crabs, who think they’re yum. In fact, humans’ love of seahorses and our continuous harvesting of these little creatures make us their biggest threat.
Seahorse No. 4
Another crazy cool part of their eating routine? Seahorses don’t chew! They use chemicals in their body to disintegrate the food instead. From there, they absorb the nutrients they need, just like us!
Seahorse No. 5
Similar to how we share our beds with spouses, male and female seahorses have different “territories.” They spend most of their time in their separate territories — which, interestingly enough, are vastly different sizes. The female range is around 1000 square feet, while her male partner only roams about ten square feet of space. Like otters, seahorses prefer swimming in pairs with their tails linked together.
Seahorse No. 6
Each morning, seahorses meet up with their life mate in the male territory. They do a special bonding and mating dance that often involves spinning together around a random seascape object. This can last an hour before the female returns to her territory. Aw!
Seahorse No. 7
You probably already know that male seahorses carry the babies, but do you know how it works? It’s called a “reverse pregnancy.” The mama seahorse gives her eggs to the male, who stores and fertilizes them in his pouch. Fun fact: Most sea animals don’t eat seahorses. Except for crabs, most predators find them too bony and indigestible.
Seahorse No. 8
Once the eggs get fertilized, papa seahorses can carry their pregnancy anywhere from just a month to around four months (depending on the species). After that, the laboring process can last quite a while, just like ours.
Seahorse No. 9
While many baby animals are still with their families for months or years during a learning and protection period, seahorses are immediately left to fend for themselves. Along with their size, this might be the reason so very few (fewer than one in one thousand fries) survive to adulthood.
Seahorse No. 10
Of course, seahorses aren’t without natural protection. They can use their tails to grasp onto the seascape and avoid being swept away in currents. They can also change colors (and patterns) to blend in with their surroundings and hide from predators. Another awesome seahorse feature? They can move their eyes independently from one another, making it easier for them to look in multiple directions at once and spot predators heading their way.
Seahorse No. 11
Seahorses are probably the most unique and strangest seas creatures in the ocean. Did you know they don’t have any teeth or stomachs? When they eat food, they suck it into their bodies, but it goes through them so fast they must eat all the time in order to survive.
Click here to print all of the seahorse coloring pages at once!
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