Why do male seahorses give birth?
Male seahorses take on the full reproductive role when they give birth.
They bear their young and give birth to them, much like mammals do.
What is the Process of the Male Seahorses’s Reproduction?
The female usually deposits her eggs in a pouch on the male’s belly and he fertilizes and carries them until they hatch in about two to five weeks.
He can house more of her eggs at a time, and he doesn’t need a mate to reproduce.
He can fertilize the eggs himself by squeezing them together with his tail until the male sperm is released.
This allows him to have more offspring at a time as well as live without a mate if necessary.
The babies are birthed from his pouch using muscular contractions.
While this is quite different from most other animals’ behaviors, it is key to how seahorses survive in their habitat.
The male seahorse gives birth because he has a specialized pouch that allows him to carry the babies until they are able to fend for themselves.
He tends to his young by fanning them with his fins and caressing them with his snout until they are ready to take care of themselves.
He can carry up to one hundred babies at a time.
Seahorses are polygynous, which means they have more than one mate.
This is why it would make sense for them to give birth; the male doesn’t need a mate in order to continue their lineage.
Seahorses also don’t have a mating season because they carry the offspring until it’s time for them to come out on their own.
Seahorses are also very slow breeders, which is another reason why they have taken on the reproductive role of being male.
They only mate once a year and release up to one hundred eggs each time.
When mating season comes around again, the female will deposit the eggs in his brood pouch so he can fertilize them himself.
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