Like adult seahorses, seahorse babies, which are also known as fry, eat a lot of food in a single day; these tiny creatures can eat as much as 3,000 pieces of food a day. As adults, seahorses will typically eat on no fewer than 30 occasions per day, with as many as 50 eating episodes taking place in a 24-hour period. This voracious appetite is related to the fact that the seahorse has no stomach and has a digestive system that has been described as inefficient, meaning this sea creature must eat a lot in order to stay properly nourished.

Another factor in a seahorse's diet is this creature's lack of teeth. Therefore, in order to consume food, the seahorse will suck prey in through their long snouts and swallow without any chewing or processing. Certain anatomical adaptations, including a highly flexible neck, make it easier for seahorses to successfully capture large volumes of prey. This prey includes tiny sea creatures such as plankton, mysis shrimp, copepods and other miniscule crustaceans. Other anatomical features, such as a prehensile tail that allows the seahorse to anchor itself and reach out its flexible neck and long snout to catch prey, help this little creature survive and thrive.