Amazing Moms of the Animal Kingdom

Amazing Moms of the Animal Kingdom
Paul Zahl / National Geographic / Getty Images

Talk about role reversal. Many of the functions performed by females in most species are handled by dads in seahorse couples. Mating takes place when the female seahorse deposits dozens to thousands of eggs inside the male's brood pouch as the male releases a cloud of sperm to fertilize them. The eggs become enveloped in tissue and receive everything they need from Dad, including a hormone usually seen only in females. Mom remains relatively absent during this time and visits once a day to resecure the bond with the father.

Get the Latest Photos from
Get TIME photos and pictures of the week delivered directly to your inbox.