By Josie  February 27th, 2024

Incredible Footage of Female Sea Horse Transferring Eggs to Male

In this rare video, we’re privy to the very beginning of the life of a sea horse.

Namely, the moment when the eggs are transferred from the female to the male.

In a delicate and synchronized dance, the female seahorse is seen closely approaching the male and begins the process of transferring her eggs into his brood pouch.

The male’s body swells slightly as he receives the eggs – perhaps what we would call a “baby bump”.

The Footage 

Their Unusual Reproductive Process

Seahorses are among the few animal species on Earth where the male takes on the role of pregnancy.

After carrying the eggs in his pouch for two to four weeks, the male seahorse experiences contractions, expelling the fully formed, miniature seahorses into the water.

Giving Birth

This process can be exhausting for the male, as he can give birth to anywhere from 5 to 1,000 babies at a time.

Remarkably, shortly after birthing, males are often ready to mate again, should a willing female be nearby.

Their close relatives, the pipefish and the leafy and weedy sea dragons, also share this reproductive strategy.

Are They the Only Species Where Males Give Birth?

How Tiny Is a Baby Sea Horse?

Baby seahorses, known as fry, are astonishingly tiny at birth, measuring just 1/4 to 1/2 inch long.

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