Interesting Facts
Works Cited

Clip art "A male that gets pregnant" Clip art

     The Pacific Seahorse has an unique reproduction cycle. Instead of the female carrying around the eggs, the male carries the eggs around in a pouch. The mating ritual starts out by the male dancing around the female; he produces clicking sounds with his skull as the female and male start to change their vibrant colors. (To watch a video on a courtship ritual click here) The actual mating occurs when the female points Pacific Seahorseher tail down and her nose up toward the surface, the male pulls his tail back and propels water in and out of a pouch that is located on his belly. Once the pouch is cleaned, the male swims close to the female and they face belly-to-belly to interlock one another. This is when the female puts her ovipositor (a tube that places large sticky eggs) into the male’s pouch. The male releases sperm inside the pouch to fertilize the eggs.
     Each morning the male and female meet and perform the courtship ritual of dancing, changing color and intertwining their tails.
     When the eggs are ready to hatch, 10 to 45 days later, the male contracts his pouch to help the fry (baby seahorse) find their way out of the pouch. There are about 100 to 200 seahorses born at a time and each one is 6 mm to 12 mm long. The fry look like a miniature version of an adult seahorse and are entirely independent as soon as they leave the father’s pouch. (To watch a video on the birth of the fry
click here.)Moon clip art
    The female seahorse returns the following morning to deposit another set of eggs inside the male seahorse and the cycle starts all over again. Males are able to become pregnant because they produce the female hormone, prolactin.
     Many of the courtship rituals are influenced by the tides, lunar cycles and the changing of the seasons.

Picture above taken by Clay Bryce