Seahorses: Females forget their pregnant male partners if separated

Some seahorses pair for life, with the males carrying the pregnancies – but if the pair are separated for even a few days the female seems to forget the male


26 October 2021

A male and female lined seahorse (Hippocampus erectus), near the Bahamas

Shane Gross /

Male seahorses are sometimes labelled nature’s best fathers, given that they form close monogamous partnerships with a female and carry the pregnancy from shortly after fertilisation all the way to birth. But female seahorses may see things differently. They forget the long-term bond they share with their male partner if the two are separated even for a few days.

Lined seahorses (Hippocampus erectus) are sexually monogamous, typically mating for life. Like other seahorses, they are unusual in that …