By analyzing how the beads moved as seahorses preyed on copepods, the scientists could deduce how they made the water flow around them in three dimensions. They found that the water around the seahorse snout barely moves while the hunter approaches its victims, helping the seahorse to close in undetected.
The seahorse appears to achieve this stealth by virtue of how its mouth is located at the end of a long snout. "This gives its head a narrow shape," Gemmell said. "This is the same reason why ships and boats have triangular-shaped bows -- it makes it easier for them to move through fluid, results in less drag and disturbance."
Gemmell and his colleagues Jian Sheng and Edward Buskey detailed their findings online Nov. 26 in the journal Nature Communications.
This story originally appeared on LiveScience.com.
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