Social Question

troubleinharlem's avatar

Why don't scientists call the male seahorse a female seahorse, since the "male" seahorse has the baby seahorses?

Asked by troubleinharlem (7976points) February 12th, 2010

I never thought I’d use seahorses four times in one sentence.

Anyway, why not just call it the female seahorse? Isn’t that common sense? Why call it the male one?

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9 Answers

CyanoticWasp's avatar

The female produces the eggs, which the male fertilizes, as usual with M & F. The male apparently hatches them after fertilization (if memory serves; I’m not looking this up, since you could do that as easily as I could).

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

Male seahorses don’t produce the eggs, they just fertilize and carry them.

@CyanoticWasp Jinx

laureth's avatar

They produce the sperm, females produce the eggs. Or should we call male humans “females” when they carry the baby in the backpack? ;)

It’s all about the genetics, less about the parental duties.

DominicX's avatar

The “male” of a species is defined as the one that produces the sperm. In the case of seahorses, the female still produces the eggs, but “lays” them in the pouch of the male seahorse, where they are fertilized and then mature. Interestingly enough, the male seahorse is still more aggressive than the female seahorse, which is a trend seen across many many animals.

augustlan's avatar

Ya’ gotta’ love a male who carries the babies during gestation!

Arp's avatar

The male seahorse carries the eggs, the female still lays them. Though that would be interesting…

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@Arp yeah, I can just imagine some new sex practice being called seahorsing. I don’t think I want to imagine any more about it than that name, though.

Arp's avatar

@CyanoticWasp Lol, Doin’ it Seahorse Style XD

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