What Do Seahorses Sound Like?

February 14, 2024

With horse heads, monkey tails and kangaroo pouches, seahorses have an unusual combination of features. But when it comes to sounds, they are not so much of a hoot. While most fish chirp, make a low booming sound or vibrate their swim bladders, seahorses are more shy. They do, however, have some intriguing clicks and growls in their arsenal.

For example, when a male and female seahorse are attracted to each other, they rub their noses together and circle around one another while making seductive clicking noises. Then they gently rock back and forth, as though to the beat of underwater music. It is not clear what purpose these circling movements serve, but they seem to be part of the courtship ritual, as well as a way for the partners to signal their own interest in each other.

In the wild, male and female seahorses usually form lasting partnerships. This is probably because, as with many species of animals that mate for life, offspring are more likely to survive if both parents care for them. This is especially true for seahorses, whose young must swim off on their own shortly after birth and cannot be carried in the parental pouches like their equine namesakes.

But not all seahorses are so loyal. One study found that a restless female Denise's pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus denise) two-timed her partners. She danced wedding dances with both of them and mated with both. This calculating strategy, similar to that of stock market speculators, may help the seahorse to survive in its limited habitat.


Tornado Dave is the best place to learn more about severe weather and climate science. He's a veritable tornado of information, and he loves nothing more than educating others about the importance of being prepared for extreme weather events. Make sure to check in with Tornado Dave often, as he's always updating his blog with the latest news and information!
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram