Research on Pregnancy for the Male Seahorse

The reproductive questions surrounding seahorses and pipefish (syngnathids), specifically about why males are the gender which undergoes pregnancy, are pondered and researched in the article I chose. This article describes the similarities and differences between mammal and seahorse viviparity, “extended

embryonic development inside a parent,” (Stolting K, Wilson A, 2007) especially several key parallels, such as types of hormones needed, which were discovered through this experiment, and mentions several ideas for future research on these creatures. Seahorses are one of the few kinds of sea animals that can be readily cultured in a lab; they also have a short generation time (3-12 months), lots of offspring (50-2000 offspring per brood), and a small genome size, which make them ideal as a model for future morphological, behavioral, and reproductive experiment research. (Foster, Vincent, 2004).

First, descriptions of the seahorse’s reproductive nature are described and compared to that of mammals and marsupials. Then the two types of seahorses are compared, and we examine the experiment. The experiment measured the hormones of male seahorses during pregnancy, both as normal and others with missing hormones, to compare the hormones used/needed by seahorses for reproduction and pregnancy. The article then claims that because hormones needed for successful seahorse pregnancies and mammal pregnancies are the same or very similar that there should be further research in this area to explore further details into why, now that we know more about how seahorses function.