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How do seahorses give birth?

    Seahorses have a unique and fascinating method of giving birth. Unlike most other species, it is the males that carry and give birth to the babies. The female seahorse transfers her eggs to the male’s special brood pouch during mating. This pouch is located on the ventral side of the male, and it provides a safe environment for the eggs to develop.

    Inside the male’s pouch, the eggs are fertilized and receive nutrients from a placenta-like structure. The gestation period of seahorses can vary from species to species, ranging from a few weeks to several months. During this time, the male seahorse goes through hormonal changes that help in the development of the embryos.

    When the babies are fully developed, the male undergoes muscular contractions to expel them from the pouch. This process is known as “giving birth.” The male can give birth to hundreds of tiny seahorse offspring at once, released into the water to fend for themselves. While the male seahorse has to go through the physical effort and risk associated with pregnancy and birth, these unique creatures have evolved this mechanism to ensure the survival and protection of their young.


    Videos
    Watch a Seahorse Give Birth to 2,000 Babies | National Geographic
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    May 24, 2023
    Why do male seahorses give birth?
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    YouTube · Natural History Museum
    June 5, 2023
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