23 April 2012

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Know about Sea Horse - Video Male Seahorse Giving Birth to Babies

Know about Sea Horse - Video Male Seahorse Giving Birth to Babies

The Deep, one of the most spectacular aquariums in the world is located in Hull, East Yorkshire.
The Deep is operated as a charity dedicated to increasing the enjoyment of the world's oceans.

It has won many accolades which include gold award for The Green Tourism Business Scheme.
Gold in Sustainable Tourism (National Enjoy England Awards for Excellence) and Silver for Large Visitor Attraction of the Year 2009 (Welcome to Yorkshire’s White Rose Awards).
Mumsnet voted deep as number one UK aquarium in their Best awards!

Male seahorse incubates the eggs and then gives birth.
Many seahorses are on the IUCN Red list classified as VULNERABLE and have shown population declines of 20% over the last 10 years
Seahorses are charismatic symbols of marine habitats, but sadly face serious threats. Every year, millions of seahorses are stripped from the sea by trawlers and fishers, while their habitats are polluted and destroyed.
Seahorses are severely threatened by overexploitation for traditional Asian medicines, aquarium fishes and curiosities/souvenirs with millions being caught and sold every year. Another big threat is habitat degradation through human activities and climate change
The seahorse is used in traditional Chinese herbology, and as many as 20 million seahorses may be caught each year and sold for this purpose

Know about Seahorse –

Seahorses belong to the genus Hippocampus
Seahorse is the title given to forty-seven species of marine fish in the genus Hippocampus. "Hippocampus" comes from the Ancient Greek hippos meaning "horse" and kampos meaning "sea monster"

Seahorses swim upright, another characteristic that is not shared by their close pipefish relatives, who swim horizontally. Unusual among fish, seahorses have a flexible, well-defined neck. They also sport a coronet on the head, which is distinct for each individual.

In Pacific waters from North America to South America there are approximately four species. In the Atlantic, the H. erectus ranges from Nova Scotia to Uruguay. H. zosterae, known as the dwarf seahorse, is found in the Bahamas.

Three species live in the Mediterranean Sea: H. guttulatus (the long-snouted seahorse), H. hippocampus (the short-snouted seahorse) and H. fuscus (the sea pony).

These species form territories; males stay within 1 square meter (11 sq ft) of their habitat while females range about one hundred times that.

Seahorses are found in waters less than 20 m deep in coastal tropical and temperate waters. Most are fully marine and live among sea grasses and seaweed, in flooded mangrove forests, soft- bottom or among corals.
Seahorses are masters of camouflage, able to change color in a matter of minutes to match their surroundings or grow extra skin filaments to imitate fronds of seaweed. They also allow themselves to become clothed by encrusting organisms such as bryozoans and algae to camouflage them even further.

These fish need such extensive camouflage because their body shape is more suited to manoeuvrability than quick getaways. Their dorsal fin is the only source of propulsion and their ear-like pectoral fins below the gills provide stability and steering.

Seahorses tend not to move around much as a result, but use their prehensile tails to anchors onto plants and coral and independently orbiting eyes to look around inconspicuously. This camouflage, their immobility and defensive bony spines are so successful, however, that seahorses have few predators.

Male seahorses are unusual in that it is they who become ‘pregnant’.
At the climax of a 9 hour mating courtship, females deposit large, pear-shaped eggs into the males’ pouch through an egg duct, where the eggs are fertilized by sperm.

Male pregnancy lasts between 10 days to six weeks, depending on species and water temperature, after which the male gives birth to fully developed and independent young.

When mating, the female seahorse deposits up to 1,800 eggs in the male's pouch.

The male releases his sperm directly into seawater where it fertilizes the eggs which are then embedded in the pouch wall and become surrounded by a spongy tissue.

The male supplies the eggs with prolactin, the same hormone responsible for milk production in pregnant mammals.

The pouch provides oxygen as well as a controlled environment incubator. The eggs then hatch in the pouch where the salinity of the water is regulated; this prepares the newborns for life in the sea.

Throughout gestation, which in most species requires two to four weeks; his mate visits him daily for “morning greetings”.

They interact for about 6 minutes, reminiscent of courtship.
The female then swims away until the next morning, and the male returns to vacuuming up food through his snout.

Sea Horse Monogamy Myth -

One common misconception about seahorses is that they mate for life. Many species of seahorses form pair bonds that last through at least the breeding season.
Some species show a higher level of mate fidelity than others.
However, many species readily switch mates when the opportunity arises. H. abdominalis and H. breviceps have been shown to breed in groups, showing no continuous mate preference.

Photo Sea Horse –

Watch the video showing Male Sea horse giving birth

Sources –
You tube,www.zsl.org,www.thedeep.co.uk,Wikipedia


Alucard0691 April 23, 2012  

Wow, this seems like natures way out of extinction.

Kirtivasan April 23, 2012  

Nature has its own way. Frogs masturbate and tadpoles get born.

cookingvarieties April 23, 2012  

hi sm, the seahorse is unique, when its the male who gives birth.. have a nice day
and i also like the part where the female will visits him every morning during this time

Usha April 23, 2012  

sm, that was such an amazing read and watch about unique mating and birth cycle of seahorse. I had no clue that male seahorse gives birth to around 1800 full grown babies. Thanks for sharing this video.
Any idea what is the size of male seahorse in the video? I guess not more than few inches.

sm April 24, 2012  


thanks.I also think its few inches.

Hugo Costa January 24, 2013  

I guys,

Check the seahorse page at
a comprehensive catalogue of marine species to sea lovers.