Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Male pregnancy in seahorses and pipefish: Beyond the mammalian model


Stölting, Kai N; Wilson, Anthony B (2007). Male pregnancy in seahorses and pipefish: Beyond the mammalian model. BioEssays, 29(9):884-896.

Abstract

Pregnancy has been traditionally defined as the period during which developing embryos are incubated in the body after egg-sperm union. Despite strong similarities between viviparity in mammals and other vertebrate groups, researchers have historically been reluctant to use the term pregnancy for non-mammals in recognition of the highly developed form of viviparity in eutherians. Syngnathid fishes (seahorses and pipefishes) have a unique reproductive system, where the male incubates developing embryos in a specialized brooding structure in which they are aerated, osmoregulated, protected and likely provisioned during their development. Recent insights into physiological, morphological and genetic changes associated with syngnathid reproduction provide compelling evidence that male incubation in these species is a highly specialized form of reproduction akin to other forms of viviparity. Here, we review these recent advances, highlighting similarities and differences between seahorse and mammalian pregnancy. Understanding the changes associated with the parallel evolution of male pregnancy in the two major syngnathid lineages will help to identify key innovations that facilitated the development of this unique form of reproduction and, through comparison with other forms of live bearing, may allow the identification of a common set of characteristics shared by all viviparous organisms.

Abstract

Pregnancy has been traditionally defined as the period during which developing embryos are incubated in the body after egg-sperm union. Despite strong similarities between viviparity in mammals and other vertebrate groups, researchers have historically been reluctant to use the term pregnancy for non-mammals in recognition of the highly developed form of viviparity in eutherians. Syngnathid fishes (seahorses and pipefishes) have a unique reproductive system, where the male incubates developing embryos in a specialized brooding structure in which they are aerated, osmoregulated, protected and likely provisioned during their development. Recent insights into physiological, morphological and genetic changes associated with syngnathid reproduction provide compelling evidence that male incubation in these species is a highly specialized form of reproduction akin to other forms of viviparity. Here, we review these recent advances, highlighting similarities and differences between seahorse and mammalian pregnancy. Understanding the changes associated with the parallel evolution of male pregnancy in the two major syngnathid lineages will help to identify key innovations that facilitated the development of this unique form of reproduction and, through comparison with other forms of live bearing, may allow the identification of a common set of characteristics shared by all viviparous organisms.

Statistics

Citations

54 citations in Web of Science®
56 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2007
Deposited On:28 Mar 2013 15:11
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:39
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0265-9247
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/bies.20626
PubMed ID:17691105

Download

Full text not available from this repository.
View at publisher

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations