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Little is known about the specific biology of Jayakar's seahorse, but seahorses in general exhibit a number of shared traits. The most extraordinary of these is the most extreme form of male parental care yet to be discovered (6) (7). To reproduce, the female seahorse deposits eggs into a brood pouch at the base of the male's tail. The male then fertilises the eggs and carries them for the duration of their development. The brood pouch acts in much the same way as a female mammal's womb, providing nutrients and oxygen to the developing embryos, whilst expelling unwanted waste products (7). At the end of gestation, which can last from four to six weeks, the male goes into several hours of labour, during which time it pumps the young seahorses from its brood pouch (6) (7). The newborns are completely independent and receive no further parental care (7). Despite their gentle appearance, seahorses tend to be voracious predators, ingesting just about anything moving that is small enough to fit into their mouths. This usually includes small crustaceans, fish fry and other invertebrates (7).


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Source: ARKive

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