Sex and the Seahorse

Posted on January 23, 2007  Comments (4)

Sex and the seahorse (site broke the link so I removed the link – poor usability):

Unlike the sex roles in the vast majority of animals, the male seahorse looks after the fertilised eggs in a special brood sac on the front of his abdomen, which works much like the womb of a female mammal. The fertilised eggs get embedded into the wall of the pouch and are bathed in a fluid that provides nutrients and oxygen. In effect, the male seahorse becomes pregnant and gives birth to live offspring – the only male in the animal kingdom to do so.

Related: Seahorse podcast (mp3 – NPR Our Ocean World) – Kingdom of the Seahorse (NOVA)

4 Responses to “Sex and the Seahorse”

  1. CuriousCat: Female Sharks Can Reproduce Alone
    May 23rd, 2007 @ 6:39 pm

    “A team of American and Irish researchers have discovered that some female sharks can reproduce without having sex, the first time that scientists have found the unusual capacity in such an ancient vertebrate species…”

  2. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Fish Discovery: Breathes Air for Months at a Time
    November 9th, 2007 @ 6:52 pm

    “It’s the only vertebrate known to naturally self-fertilize, for example. In some populations, it can become a hermaphrodite, developing both male and female parts simultaneously, to produce clones of itself…”

  3. Aquagrrl
    November 10th, 2007 @ 5:22 pm

    This is sort of true. Some species of male pipefish carry their eggs in a fully developed pouch. Pipehorses, which are the evolutionary middle ground also have a pouch which carries eggs. Most species of sygnathiformes, (seahorse and family) the male carries the eggs in some way. Sea Dragons have a spongy area at the base of the tail that the males carry the eggs until they hatch.

  4. Anonymous
    January 16th, 2009 @ 5:37 am

    Seahorses are among the most graceful and intriguing animals of the ocean and their strictly monogamous lifestyle breaks one of the golden rules of biology – it is the male rather than the female who is left holding the baby.

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