Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Male seahorse and human pregnancies remarkably alike

Date: September 2, 2015

Source: University of Sydney

Summary: Their pregnancies are carried by the males but, when it comes to breeding, seahorses have more in common with humans than previously thought, new research reveals.

Their pregnancies are carried by the males but, when it comes to breeding, seahorses have more in common with humans than previously thought, new research from the University of Sydney reveals.

Seahorses are famed for being part of the only family in the animal kingdom (Syngnathidae) in which the male is responsible for pregnancy. What hasn't been known until now is the degree to which male seahorses nourish and protect their embryos in their brood pouch during the 24-day gestation period.

Findings co-authored by Dr Camilla Whittington from the University's School of Biological Sciences, published today inMolecular Biology and Evolution, show male seahorses play as much a part in nurturing embryos during pregnancy as female mammals. Previously their role, other than as pouch provider, was largely a mystery.

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