The Late Movies: Male Seahorses Giving Birth

Chris Higgins

Seahorses are unusual in the animal kingdom: the males actually carry and deliver the babies. After an elaborate courtship ritual, the female deposits eggs in the male's pouch; the eggs eventually hatch and fully-developed baby seahorses emerge in a pretty surprising display of male birth (often the babies come in a veritable flood). Below, I've collected some videos of the process!

Babies A-Poppin'

This video shows a Hippocampus reidi giving birth in spurts.

The Pea-Shooter Technique

This H. erectus seahorse delivers babies individually, with Elvis-the-Pelvis action.

Yes, More

I think this is another H. reidi. A very clear video.

Seahorse Mating Dance (w/Enya Soundtrack)

Two H. subelongatus engage in a courtship dance.

More Enya Seahorse Mating

Two H. reidi make it happen, complete with an egg transfer at the end.

Read more about seahorse reproduction at Wikipedia. Note: as a former seahorse keeper, I can tell you it is very difficult to care for these fish; be prepared to feed them constantly with live brine shrimp, take great care with your water chemistry, and be advised -- this is not a fish for beginners!

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