The fascination for these mythological beings with the head of a horse and the body of a fish has been captured in mosaics, paintings, sculptures and coins. For the Greeks and Romans they symbolized strength and power. Legend relates how Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, galloped across the oceans in a golden chariot pulled by seahorses. Beliefs in the magical and mystical powers of these enigmatic beings still persist in many fishing communities. They belong to a group of fish, the signatids, whose name derives from the Greek and means “joined jaws”. This peculiar family includes seahorses, pipe fish and sea dragons. Seahorses or seahorses are a genus with 38 known species (new species are still being described), distributed throughout the temperate and tropical seas. Two species can be seen off the coasts of Europe: Hippocampus guttate

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nd H. hippocampus. Although the signatids live in South Korea Email List all the seas of the world, to find fossils you have to go to the Italian Alps: specifically to Monte Bolca, in the Italian province of Verona. There is a paleontological site there from about 49 million years ago (Lower Eocene) known as Pesciara (fish tank) and it is famous for the large number of fish fossils it contains and for its excellent preservation. But seahorse fossil remains are scarce, making it difficult to trace their evolutionary history. Currently there is consensus among scientists on the following aspects. They are very modern fish, with a minimum age of 13 million years; they have evolved very rapidly, from a common ancestor to pipefish; the acquisition of the upright posture is an adaptation to the new marine environments and the optimization of the incubator sac of the males allows to increase the care of the offspring

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thus maximize the reproductive success. Its silhouette is unmistakable and very different from the rest of the fish. His body is always upright and his skeleton, made up of bony plates as armor, is striking. They move slowly as their ability to swim is reduced. As it lacks caudal and ventral fins, its movements are conditioned by the dorsal fin, which propels them forward, and the two pectoral fins under its head, which allow it to ascend and descend in the water column, as well as turn to left and right. Scaleless fish Another of the peculiarities of these attractive fish is that they do not have scales and their skin is covered with a viscous and slippery substance. Like the rest of the signatids, they have fused their jaws to form a long snout that works like a vacuum cleaner to suck food, basically made up of small crustaceans. Their eyes are small but move independently,

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