This source here

...research has shown that it is STILL the males that compete for females.

says that male sea horses compete for mates but this source here

Females exhibit a competitive behavior that's normally a male-type attribute, and males end up being choosy, which is normally a more female-type attribute.

.says that female sea horses compete for mates.

Can anyone provide me a trustable source regarding this ? I would also like to know if there are any recent papers exploring why males get pregnant in sea horses.

  • $\begingroup$ Is this question more apt for skeptics.se ? $\endgroup$
    – biogirl
    Oct 28 '13 at 18:29
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Are you sure you want to ask about polyandry and polygyny? How do the sources you quote touch on the number of mates per individual? $\endgroup$
    – terdon
    Oct 28 '13 at 19:00
  • $\begingroup$ @terdon The sources I quote seems to answer the question why males get pregnant but if you read carefully there is a mention of polygyny and polyandry. I will quote those parts-- $\endgroup$
    – biogirl
    Oct 28 '13 at 19:10
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Whether they compete or not is one thing, polyandry and polygyny refer to the number of mates per individual. I think you are asking whether males or females compete for mates and display secondary sexual characteristics. That is not necessarily related to polygamy of either sex. The two sources disagree on whether the males or the females compete for mates, my guess is that both do but I don't really know. Interesting question but not related to polyandry or polygyny. $\endgroup$
    – terdon
    Oct 28 '13 at 19:14
  • $\begingroup$ @terdon Ah I see but in most polygynous socities it is the male that competes for mate. I have never heard that a polygynous society had females competing for mates. $\endgroup$
    – biogirl
    Oct 28 '13 at 19:22

Second paper is an article in science Daily and have a pretty decent source from Texas A&M University. It's much better than the first as it is un-sourced post on yahoo answers.

Source: "Male Seahorses Are Nature's Mr. Mom, Researchers Say." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 May 2008.

Why male seahorses gets pregnant?

Genetic answer:

May be because only $MHII\beta$ gene present in the male pouch which carries the babies.

Source and more on this topic:

The impact of sex-role reversal on the diversity of the major histocompatibility complex: Insights from the seahorse (Hippocampus abdominalis)


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.