New research discovers the elaborate and unique way seahorse fathers give birth

September 07, 2022

In seahorses and pipefish, it is the male that gets pregnant and gives birth. Seahorse fathers incubate their developing embryos in a pouch located on their tail. It contains a placenta, supporting the growth and development of baby seahorses. Seahorse dads provide nutrients and oxygen to their babies during pregnancy, using some of the same genetic instructions as mammalian pregnancy. However, when it comes to giving birth, our research shows male seahorses seem to rely on elaborate behaviours and their unique body structure to facilitate labour.

In seahorses and pipefish, it is the male that gets pregnant and gives birth. Seahorse fathers incubate their developing embryos in a pouch located on their tail. 

The pouch is the equivalent of the uterus of female mammals. It contains a placenta, supporting the growth and development of baby seahorses.

Seahorse dads provide nutrients and oxygen to their babies during pregnancy, using some of the same genetic instructions as mammalian pregnancy. 

However, when it comes to giving birth, our research shows male seahorses seem to rely on elaborate behaviours and their unique body structure to facilitate labour.

The source of this news is from University of Sydney

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