Seahorse Pros And Cons

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Scientists confirm that Seahorses, Snapdragons and Pipe Fish are the only vertebrates in which the males carry the burden of pregnancy. This type of phenomenon is one that leaves more unanswered questions than answers. This pregnancy doesn’t look the same in all species. In some cases, the seahorse brood pouch (the male alternative to a uterus) stores the fertilized eggs to attach while they develop. In other cases, after the mom deposits the eggs in the brood pouch, the eggs are fully enclosed and protected from the outside world.

The big-belly seahorse Hippocampus abdominalis) has the most complex seahorse pregnancy. Camilla Wittington of the University of Sydney analyzed gene expressions (the patterns of genes turned on and off) in the big-belly seahorse during conception, egg development and birth. She found several things in common linking seahorses, reptiles that give live birth and humans. The male seahorse becomes pregnant when the female transfers her eggs into his pouch where they are fertilized. The pouch, similar to a pregnant woman’s belly, has to go through physical changes such as growing bigger to accommodate and protect the eggs.
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Some scientist have determined that the seahorse dads must supplement their kid’s diets and the gene data supports that idea. These nutrients may be similar to “uterine milk” that some female sharks and rays make. That “milk” from dad would supplement the yolk provided in by mom in the eggs. It could also help digest the nutrients provided by mom to make them easier for the embryos to use. When a male seahorse isn’t pregnant, his pouch is open to the environment but it seals up when the eggs arrive. After the kids are born, genes for tissue repair and remodeling quickly turns on and dad gets back his pre-pregnancy body fast enough to make any human mom very

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