Seahorses have quite a unique reproduction cycle. While many would think that the female carries the eggs, like most organisms but the male seahorse actually carries the eggs in brood pouch, which is similar to a kangaroo pouch. Seahorse reproduction usually occurs in from May to August. Seahorses are also considered as being sexual dimorphism, which means the male and female look different.  Seahorses are also oviviparous meaning they incubate their eggs inside their bodies. Here are the steps which occur for reproduction.

Before seahorse can even begin breeding, they must first have a courtship like dance. Most seahorses will court for a few days. This courtship assists in the male seahorses ability to receive the eggs from the female seahorse. Throughout the courtship, the seahorses will change colors, grab each others tails, float around, and swim around each other in unison. The male seahorse will also make clicking noises with his skull. The female usually tends to become distracted in which the male will have to regain her attention usually by snapping at her head. This part of the courtship is know as the "pre-dawn dance". Once this is over, the actually dance occurs which can last up to 8 hours. During this dance, the male seahorse will pump water into it's brood pouch to show the female seahorse that it is empty and ready to receive the eggs and the female with stretch out and point her tail down and her head up towards the surface. Once the females eggs are mature, the mating pair with grasp on to each other's tails while slowly floating and spinning to the surface. During this time, the mating pair will align which will allow the female seahorse to insert a tube known as an ovipositer, into the males pouch. The eggs will now travel through this tube and into the pouch. Once the eggs are in the pouch, the male will now sink to the bottom into areas of coverage and fertilize the eggs by release sperm into the surrounding area, and not directly in the pouch. The male seahorse now become the main caretaker of the eggs. After the ritual, the female leaves and in some cases, the female will return the following morning and perform some of the beginning stages of the ritual.  The female seahorse may lay her eggs in other male seahorses until all the eggs have been laid.

Gestation is the carrying of an embryo or fetus in an organism. This is the time when the embryos develop inside of the male seahorse's brood pouch. When the male seahorse fertilized the eggs, they became embedded in the pouch wall and covered in tissue.  Males seahorse will undergo what a female usually goes through when pregnant. The males supplies the eggs with prolactin, which is similar to the hormone that produces milk in pregnant mammals. The males pouch provides the essentials needed from the eggs to survive. It provides the eggs with oxygen as well as acting like an incubator. Soon the eggs will hatch inside of the pouch, and the male will slowly increase the  salinity of the pouch to prepare the eggs for the the life in the sea.  The gestation period can last from 40 to 50 days depending on the species and water conditions. During that time period, the mate will return and perform parts of the original ritual, and then leave. Once the eggs have hatched, the male is now ready to give birth.

Once the eggs have hatched, the male seahorse will undergo labor which can last up to a few hours until the young are ready to emerge. When the baby seahorses, also known as fry, are ready the male will push them out with muscular contracts similar to pregnant mammals such as a lion.  Males usually give birth at night or in the early morning. When the babies emerge, they look quite similar to the adult version but just a much smaller size. Seahorses do not provide any parental care for their young. Most fry do not survive to adult due to predators, lack of food, or other extremes which may explain why they produce so many young. But due to the gestation period, it increased the fries survival rate.

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