June 22, 2021

Can a male seahorse give birth?

There is an almost unbreakable truth in our minds, that is, all babies are conceived by mothers. But some people say that seahorse babies are not born by seahorse mother, but by seahorse father. This statement is like a rooster will lay eggs, I don’t know how many people will be surprised. So, can such an incredible statement be true? There is only one truth, and we verify it through science.

Let’s talk about the seahorse first. The seahorse is a small marine animal belonging to the porcupines Hydrasidae. It is famous because its head is bent at a right angle to its body. It is also called a seahorse because its head is similar to a horse. The body of the hippocampus is very small, generally between 5 and 30 cm.

First of all, don’t think that if someone says that the baby hippocampus is born to the father hippocampus, then they think the hippocampus is hermaphrodite. In fact, it is easy to distinguish between male and female seahorses. Female seahorses do not have pouches, while male seahorses have pouches. The breeding period of seahorses is relatively long, generally from spring to late autumn. The mature female hippocampus puts the eggs in the nursery bag on the front side of the male hippocampus’ abdomen. At this time, the male seahorse will release his sperm into the surrounding seawater, and the sperm will also get into the nursery bag more accurately. Scientists have not yet been able to explain why sperm can accurately find eggs.

There is a dense vascular network on the inner wall of the male hippocampus pouch. These vascular networks are in close contact with the vascular network in the embryo so that the embryo can obtain the nutrients it needs during development. During this period, Daddy Seahorse has been working very hard, swimming with a big belly. After 50 to 60 days of embryos in the baby hippocampus, the hippocampus will develop. At this time, some hippocampus will twist or stretch their bodies, and some will rub against nearby rocks. Just like a mother giving birth to a baby, the baby seahorse will pop out of the baby bag, and the baby seahorse’s baby bag can basically hold 2000 baby seahorses. When the baby hippocampus was born, the father hippocampus was also exhausted. Daddy Seahorse is the most dedicated dad of all species.

Why is there a situation where Seahorse Daddy is raising a child? This is also related to the surrounding environment. In the breeding season, many sea creatures will reproduce from the deep sea to the shallow sea. At this time, the weak and strong food among animals will appear. Many animals die during this period, and it is even more difficult for newborn and young animals to survive. Many fish spawn surprisingly large, but the survival rate is very low, because these eggs will basically become a delicacy for other fish.

For seahorses that have lived in shallow seas for a long time, this situation must evolve themselves to allow future generations to continue. Therefore, in order to survive, the mother seahorse lays her eggs into the baby bag and is protected by the father seahorse. In order to adapt to the cruel environment, the hippocampus evolved from oviparous to viviparous, in fact, to develop all the eggs into small hippocampus and improve survival rate.

However, one thing needs to be clear. Although the baby hippocampus was born from the seahorse father’s pouch, the eggs still belong to the seahorse mother. The pouch only serves as an incubator, so the seahorse father does not actually give birth to a baby.

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