Seahorse Dads , In seahorses and pipefish, it is the male that gets pregnant and gives birth. Seahorse fathers incubate their developing embryos in a pouch located on their tail.

Study Reveals The Wonderfully Unique Way Seahorse Dads Give Birth

The pouch is the equivalent of the uterus of female mammals. It contains a placenta, supporting the growth and development of baby seahorses. Seahorse dads provide nutrients and oxygen to their babies during pregnancy, using some of the same genetic instructions as mammalian pregnancy. However, when it comes to giving birth, our research shows male seahorses seem to rely on elaborate behaviors and their unique body structure to facilitate labor. Labor is a complex biological process that in female pregnant animals is controlled by hormones including oxytocin. In mammals and reptiles, oxytocin induces contractions in the smooth muscles of the uterus. There are three main types of muscle: smooth muscle, skeletal muscle, and cardiac muscle. Smooth muscle is found in the walls of most internal organs and blood vessels.

Seahorse Dads , This muscle type is not under conscious control. For example, your intestines are lined with smooth muscle, which rhythmically contracts to move food through your gut without you having to consciously control it. Skeletal muscle is found throughout your body and attaches to bones via tendons, allowing body movement. This type of muscle is under conscious control. For example, your bicep muscles when contracted allow you to consciously bend your arm. Cardiac muscle is specific to the heart and is also under involuntary control. In female mammals, the uterine wall contains abundant smooth muscle. Oxytocin stimulates this smooth muscle to contract, helping bring about labor. These uterine contractions are spontaneous and involuntary. We can measure these uterine contractions in response to oxytocin, and the results are consistent in both mammals and reptiles.

Source: This news is originally published by sciencealert

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