STEM in Aquaculture series:

Did you know…

Male seahorses give birth?

             Although it sounds peculiar, but it is true. It is the male seahorses (Hippocampus spp.) that are pregnant and gives birth to the live young. Seahorse babies are termed as fry. Although the majority of fishes are oviparous (egg-laying), but oviparous (live birth) fish species exist. Among these species, syngnathid fishes, which consisted of seahorses and pipefish, are particularly unique and fascinating as they exhibit male pregnancy, instead of the female.

Unlike human mums, the seahorse dads carry and nurture the babies in a pouch, rather than in a uterus. This brood pouch provides protection, oxygen, and nutrients to the developing embryos.

Seahorses have been identified as endangered species due to habitat loss, overexploitation for sale in the pet trade or medicine use, and incidental bycatch. Aquaculture, which refers to the farming of aquatic plants and animal, has been proposed as one solution to overcome the unsustainable catch and trade of seahorses.

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Male seahorse possesses brood pouch
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