“A diver recently captured footage of a seahorse giving birth to hundreds of babies in the wild.”

In nearly all animal species, females bear the responsibility of bearing offspring, carrying their young until it’s time to give birth. That said, there are a handful of species in which males perform this function, including seahorses, leafy seadragons, and pipefish.

Male seahorses are equipped with special pouches where they will carry their offspring until they are fully developed. Female seahorses can deposit up to 1500 eggs in these pouches during the mating season. Males carry the eggs for between 9 and 45 days before they emerge from the pouch as tiny seahorses.

A pair of divers conducting research on seahorses were lucky enough to capture rare footage of a heavily pregnant male giving birth in the wild.

Meagan Abele and Clayton Manning were researching seahorses in the waters of Port Stephens, Australia, when they encountered a male seahorse in the process of giving birth to tiny seahorses. While videos of this kind are common, none have been captured in the wild.

The divers encountered this male during their fourth dive and were in the right place at the right time to witness the newly born seahorses emerge from the male’s brood pouch.

Clayton wrote about the experience saying, “It’s great to be part of something so rare, so when Meagan (my research assistant who took the footage) and I stopped filming, we high-fived and surfaced. We were positively beaming; not because we had captured the birth, but because we had seen it with our own eyes.”

 

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