Common Seahorse

Hippocampus kuda

Seahorse females deposit eggs into a pouch on the male’s tail. The female then has nothing more to do with the development of the young as the male fertilises them and carries the developing eggs inside the fully enclosed pouch. It’s a “male pregnancy” because the pouch has a pseudo-placenta whereby gases and wastes are exchanged between the father and babies. After a few weeks, the male goes through an intense labour (initiated by a flush of hormones) and gives birth to hundreds of tiny, though fully developed, seahorse babies. There is no further parental care. 


Story contribution:

Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr
Tissue Culture & Art Project
SymbioticA, The Centre for Excellence in Biological Arts
School of Human Sciences + School of Design
The University of Western Australia

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