MALE PREGNANCY

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pregnancyBrazilian giant seahorse (Hippocampus reidi, Ginsburg 1933)


Although it may not seem like the seahorse or Hippocampus belongs to the class of Osteichthyes (bony fish) like salmon or the goldfish, so to speak. The genus Hippocampus (family Syngnathidae) includes about 45 species of saltwater fish. What makes seahorse so unique is not only its curious equine form. Unlike most other fish, seahorses are monogamous and mates for life, but the feature even more bizarre and almost unique is the fact that the female lays her eggs in a special bag incubator in the belly of the male. Here the male fertilizes the eggs that remain inside until hatching. At this point, the male expels the fry with the abdominal contractions similar to childbirth female event rather unusual in nature, called male pregnancy.

With its prehensile tail, he grapples itself to algae and corals and uses its long snout to suck up plankton and small crustaceans that float around. Distinguished by a voracious appetite, the seahorse never stops sucking his food and can get to consume more than 3,000 shrimp per day.

 

 

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