Father’s Day salute to the Seahorse

Let’s all give it up for the male seahorse. He’s the only species on the planet in which the male carries the babies.

Oh yeah, AND he can get knocked up again within 24 hours of giving birf. Schweet.


Happy Father’s Day, little Dude. Plaintive was photographed by Cynner_SF.



  1. Seahorses are awesome =)

  2. Katrina says:

    The best Dad in the world or the bestest Dad in the world?

  3. Sweet…

    He does have a really sad look in his eyes, though… Maybe it’s because he can get knocked up again so soon! Give the poor guy a rest! :-b

  4. Hovertext…..perfect!

  5. Sporkles says:

    Some frogs do that too.

    “Another South American frog species, named Rhinoderma darwinii after its illustrious discoverer, practises a most unusual version of viviparity. The male appears to eat the eggs that he has fertilised. The eggs don’t travel down his gut, however. Like many male frogs he has a commodious vocal sac, used as a resonator to amplify the voice, and it is in this moist chamber that the eggs lodge. There they develop, until they are finally vomited out as fully formed froglets, forgoing the freedom to swim as tadpoles.”

  6. Sporkles says:

    And don’t forget about penguins! The males sit on the eggs all winter while the females go to eat. And there have been few accounts of male penguin couples raising their own chicks (they “borrow” an egg from another set of parents). Surely they deserve some face time too?

  7. I just love sea horses. I have always been fascinated with their graceful presence.

    Peace and Light

  8. Oh, this Daddy seahorse looks like he might be feeling a little morning sickness! Or maybe that’s just his permanent expression! Anyway, Happy Father’s Day to him and all you Dads out there!

  9. Can we get a little blinky eye action?

  10. 5^^now8ing says:

    hovertext 😦 Don’t like using people’s kids for jokes (whether it’s Palin, Chelsea Clinton, the Bush twins, or Obama’s kids).

  11. kibblenibble says:

    Poor sad little eye capsules! *plink*

  12. DumBunny says:

    What Hovertext?

  13. Deirdre says:

    Can somebody please tell me what the hovertext is?

  14. Paunchie says:

    I lerve seahorsies they are beautious.

    that froggie thing kinda grossed me out tho’!

  15. BonzoGal says:

    Eye capskules!!!

  16. the bug man says:

    Ahem! Don’t forget the giant water bug!

    (Note to bugophobes: don’t click on these links.)


  17. I learned on the Discovery channel the other day that there is yet another dad who carries the babies. Some frog (I really wish I had remembered the name) scoops up the fertilized eggs and puts them in his pockets, and the tadpoles stay there until they are ready, then he pushes them out of the pockets into the water with his feet!

  18. Mandy, he puts them in his pockets?? His breast or hip pockets?

  19. Paunchie says:

    I’ve got tad poles in me pockets!

  20. Paunchie just the thought is . . . . interesting.

  21. Theresa, oddly enough he DOES put them in his hip pockets. The pouched frog (assa darlingtoni) has a loose skinflap on either side of its body, running from his eye to his hip. He sticks around to wait for his tadpoles to hatch, and lets them climb into a pocket sort of deal on his hip. He can only carry a dozen or so, but they stay in the pockets for 50-70 days (!) until they have grown into itty bitty frogs too.

    If I remember correctly, there’s also several species of fish that have males carrying eggs in their mouths until hatched. Mouthbrooding. Neat stuff.

  22. Truly, the hovertext is Shakespearean. The way it captures both the humanity and the pathos of the seahorse. Kudos.

  23. Walkinge says:

    That seahorse looks almost as sad and put-upon as Jon from Jon & Kate +8. Almost.

  24. I’ve recently learned from reliable sources
    The best husbands known are male sea horses;
    They do their wives the laudable favor
    Of bearing the young through gestation and labor.
    Though neither sea mares nor sea stallions
    Spend time raising their little rapscallions.
    Now this sea equine story has a moral:
    You can’t corral sea colts among the coral.

  25. Veddy, veddy niiice, Jim H.!

    All I was going to say is, I wonder if seahorse daddies tell their kids, “Don’t you ‘hey’ me. Hay is for horses!”


  27. The Eric Carle children’s book “Mister Seahorse” has a whole host of fishy daddies who take care of their unborn sprog, including Tilapia, Stickleback, Pipefish, and Nurseryfish.

  28. I am pretty sure that male fleas carry babies as well 😛

  29. exhausted mom says:

    omg do i wish that human males had to carry teh babies and birf them through you know. it might slow those meatheads down.

  30. That seahorse is totally trying to give Princess Di eyes!

  31. Cordelia says:

    What is hovertext and where is it here?? Anyone?

  32. Kathleen in Canada says:

    Put your mouse over top of the picture and wait for a few seconds. Boxed text will appear. This is the “hovertext” as it looks like it’s floating over the picture :o)

    [Also known as a Title Tag, or somewhat improperly “alt text”, or simply “secret magical floaty words” – Ed.]

  33. Hey, Mister Seahorse! Why the long face?

  34. Katrina says:

    It does a great service to remind Peeps of the secret magical floaty words-(I love that official jargon on a man), because even now, sometimes I forget and then I’m catching up feverishly-yeah-feverishly!

  35. Cordelia says:

    Thank you, Kathleen! LOL – that is too funny!

  36. Oh noes, I forgot about the male seahorse, what wonderul, bestest, most anerable daddies in the world !

  37. berthaservant says:

    couldn’t pay me enough, even in marmies. kudos to you, mr. equus of the deep blue.

  38. Hovertext isn’t working for me, either, though I can see it for today’s other pics. I just peeked at the code to see it.

    I agree with the previous poster that penguins would be great, especially one of the “My Two Dads” penguin families!

  39. @The Bug Man: I found a Giant Water Bug in a parking lot the other day. It seemed to be dying. I scooped it gently onto my newspaper and put it on the lawn so it wouldn’t get smooshed by a car. “Gosh, no water around here– it must have been carried by a bird or something”, I thought. “Poor li’l guy.” When I got home I looked it up and, to my horror, learned that Giant Water Bugs can fly… and play dead.

    Who could ask for a more awesome papa?

  40. [insert “Seahorse” by Jonathan Coulton here]

  41. the bug man says:

    @ Patito: I applaud such kindness extended to an arthropod. I am still mourning the loss of my beloved giant water bug, Snowflake, who lived in a small fish tank on my desk for a couple of years.

    The sad part about keeping Snowflake is that he had to be supplied with little goldfish, which I always pitied. Students would always come into my office and exclaim, “Oh, you have goldfish! What are their names?”

  42. hon glad says:

    @ the bug man- I guess Snowflake called them lunch.

  43. SoCalSis says:

    Now I’m DYING to know what the hovertext is…. for some reason it’s not working for me on this one, and unlike Pheas The Wise, I don’t know code from cabbage and can’t peek at nuthin’! Help?

  44. Hovertext = “Insert Letterman/Palin/A-Rod/Pregnancy joke here”

    Some seemed to have that feature borken.

  45. jackie31337 says:

    LOLBabyMama The Eric Carle children’s book “Mister Seahorse” has a whole host of fishy daddies who take care of their unborn sprog, including Tilapia, Stickleback, Pipefish, and Nurseryfish.

    That immediately came to mind for me, too. It’s been one of my daughter’s favorite books since before she was 2 (and she just turned 6!). We still read it regularly.

  46. Kristabelle says:

    For some strange reason the hovertext didn’t work for me either, and I always look at it!

    Yay for seahorses and froggies who vomit their babies… wow, and I thought regular childbirth was gross… :mrgreen:

  47. nice seahorse.

  48. no hovertext for me either. it’s the second time with one of meg’s posts… all the other ones work for me.


  50. fansmom says:

    Hasn’t anyone seen “Away We Go”? We have so much to learn from the seahorse community.

  51. …actually it’s this photo, Joe

  52. Cynner_SF here. It looks like the link to my seahorse photo on Flickr is broken. The photo is still there –on Flickr, that is– so maybe someone can fix it…? (Not sure, as I’ve never been to this site before until I realized I was getting heavy traffic from someplace called “cute overload” on/around Father’s Day…)

  53. Cynthia — I can kinda cheat by taking a screenshot, but your Flickr isn’t set up to allow folks to download photos. (Lots of pro Flickr streams are like that, though.)

  54. Theo, whatever you’ve done here works for me. Because you’re right, I do not allow folks to download my photos. (How would I ever make a living as a photographer if I did?) I do not mind, however, if people want to link/point to them, provided they give me proper attribution. Thanks, –Cynthia

  55. re: “How would I ever make a living as a photographer if I did?” — well, I’ve got a few ideas there… include links to a store page for all your photos, so folks can purchase high-quality prints (framed and unframed) and merchandise (mugs, mousepads, shirts, etc) emblazoned with the image. And so on. Maybe you only ever upload the scaled-down versions of your photos, so that’s all that exists on the internet, and let folks go nuts with that stuff. Maybe occasionally hand-pick an “image of the month” or something and upload it as a LARGE sample, so folks can set your watermarked (or signed) photo as their desktop wallpaper, thereby associating your name with photography they like.

    And DEFINITELY make sure you get a photo chosen & posted on Cute Overload, natch. 😉