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Female seahorses 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

Life 26 October 2021

Lined seahorses (Hippocampus erectus), one male and one female, clinging to algae in a land locked alkaline lagoon on Eleuthera Island, Bahamas.

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

Shane Gross / naturepl.com

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 …