Male Seahorses Display Dubious Parenting Skills

GreenTracker| In a new study of sea horse cousins called pipefish, researchers say that the males responsible for carrying five to 40 offspring for 12 to 14 days in their pouch are highly selective about carrying out their nuturing mission.

“It’s almost as if he is saying, ‘Are these babies worth my effort?’ If he is not overly fond of the mother, the answer appears to be ‘No,’ and he invests fewer resources,” Paczolt said.

Thus, “a father could benefit from spending more [biological resources] on offspring with good prospects…and less on low-quality eggs from low-quality mothers,” Anders Berglund, of the Department of Ecology and Evolution at Uppsala University in Sweden, noted in a commentary that accompanied the new study. via Scientific American

Scientists are clear that the pipefish prefers larger women. Top of mind is the fact that the topic of male pregnancy” is far more complex than researchers originally thought.