The Paternal Roles of Male Seahorses
In the world of seahorses, the males vie for the female seahorses’ attention and compete against each other by having tail pulling competitions. An observer would hardly call it as a friendly rivalry since it involves snarling at each other with the use of their snouts. It will even reach instances when they make use of their necks to wrangle and to bring their rivals down to the bottom of the seabed just to prevent its opponent from showing off.
Competing seahorses who wish to impress their female prospects strut and show off their birthing pouches, by showing its full capacity to bear as much as 600 baby seahorses. To be convincing, the strutting male seahorse will fill up their pouches with as much water as they can and spew it with force. This is their way of manifesting its strength and capacity to go through 3 weeks of pregnancy and 72 hours of labor to release 200 baby seahorses at the least.
Accordingly, a seahorse turns white and pallid and will look terribly pained as it clings on to a seaweed while going through each baby seahorse's birthing processes. However, after a short while of going through with this experience, the male seahorse will again be ready to show off his pouch, this time signifying to his mate that he is just about ready for another round of seahorse pregnancy.
On the other hand, the female seahorse will assume the responsibility of searching for food. During the entire mating season, the male and female seahorse couple will engage in their mating act by entwining their tails and spiraling into a flirtatious dance that can bring them to heights, usually above the water's surface.