Do All Seahorse Babies Survive?

No, not all babies of a seahorse survive. Female seahorses place around 2000 eggs in the male seahorse’s pouch and give birth to about 5 to 2000 infants at a time. And among them, only 0.5% of the seahorses survive. Seahorses give birth to around 2000 infants, and only 5 to 10 survive among them. Except for only a handful, the other infants either get washed away by heavy currents or are eaten by other animals.

So, you might wonder, why don’t all seahorse babies survive? Well, there are quite a few reasons behind the low survival chance of seahorses. And I bet you’ll be surprised to know them!

So if you’re one of those who’d love to know about the birth and life cycle of seahorses, you’re at the right place.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the birth of seahorses, the number of eggs they lay, and the percentage that survives. We’ll also discuss why the survival rate of infant seahorses is low. So, keep reading…

Do All Seahorse Babies Survive?

If there’s anything like “survival of the fittest,” seahorses are one of the prime examples of this. Being only a few inches in length, seahorses have to survive among many large marine animals. And for your knowledge, this is not an easy task at all!

Seahorses perhaps have the weirdest method of delivering their offspring among the entire animal planet. Alongside having a different and unique body structure and shape, the reproduction method is different too! 

Seahorses are Ovoviviparous fishes. And ovoviviparous animals or fishes have a different and unique reproduction system. The animals in which males get pregnant are termed Ovoviviparous.

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In seahorses, females lay hundreds of eggs in the male’s body (pouch), and from there, the male seahorses carry the eggs and give birth to infants.

Yes, it’s unusual, but it is what it is! The female seahorses place the eggs in the pouch of the males. And after that, the eggs remain there for around 45 days (6-7 weeks) and mature.

The eggs are carried in the male brood pouch. Once the eggs start developing, the male seahorses can barely move. The baby seahorses or eggs keep growing inside the pouch. It might sound even more surprising that the eggs hatch inside the pouch and male seahorses give birth to live infants.

Male seahorses release their babies into the ocean at night. This is done to protect the infants or baby seahorses from predators.

Male seahorses lay around 2000 eggs at a time. And surprisingly, male seahorses abandon their infants once they’re born. And after that, the survival of the infants becomes extremely challenging. Among 200 infants, only 0.5% or 5 to 10 seahorses survive.

Why Don’t All Seahorses Survive?

Baby seahorses face an extremely dangerous environment in the ocean and seas. Alongside heavy currents of the seas and oceans, there are dangers of predators as well. And by birth, baby seahorses are terrible swimmers.

Here are a few reasons why the survival rate of baby seahorses is low-

 1. One of the reasons why the survival rate of seahorses is low is that parent seahorses don’t provide any protection to their babies after they’re released into the ocean.

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 2. During the early stage of life, baby seahorses don’t develop camouflage characteristics. As baby seahorses cannot use their camouflage activity (color change) like the adults to blend with zooplankton or corals, they get eaten by predators.

 3. As you already know, seahorses are terrible swimmers and can’t withstand heavy currents. So, when the infants are released into the water, they get washed away by the heavy currents. Moreover, they get stuck with zooplankton and get eaten by other marine animals.

Although the survival rate of baby seahorses is low, the ones that survive develop a unique and extraordinary survival capability. They’ve excellent adaptation techniques. They use their body and tail to hunt down prey and hold or wrap around any object.

Do All Baby Seahorses Survive in Aquariums?

Whether it’s a deep ocean or aquarium, the chances of survival for baby seahorses are low.

The size of a baby seahorse is around 1 cm in length. So you can understand how fragile they’re! Moreover, seahorses have no stomachs. So they need a continuous food supply. And this is quite impossible to arrange in aquariums. On top of that, seahorses need extra requirements compared to regular marine animals.

However, even if you make all the proper preparations and arrangements, there’s a little chance that you’d be able to help all the baby seahorses survive in an aquarium.

So, considering all these, the chances of survival of baby seahorses are extremely low, even in aquariums.


Although baby seahorses’ survival rate is low, they’re one of the most adaptable marine animals in the entire animal kingdom, considering their extremely tiny body size and other factors.

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The main reason for the low survival rate of seahorses is that they do not get the care and protection from their parents after they’re born. If they got it, the story could’ve been different, and the survival rate would’ve been higher.

However, this is all-natural, and throughout the start, it’s been happening the same way. So finally, do all seahorse babies survive? Well, you know the answer now!

So, if you’re planning to keep seahorses in an aquarium, remember that their survival chance is low. And based on this, you should meet the requirements and make an effort!

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