Material Type:
Rice University
Provider Set:
OpenStax College
Acrosomal Reaction, Animal Development, Animal Reproduction, Asexual Reproduction, Binary Fission, Birth, Birth Control, Blastocyst, Blastula, Budding, Bulbourethral Gland, Cleavage, Clitoris, Cloaca, Contraception, Delivery, Embryo, Embryonic Development, Estrogen, Evolution of Reproduction, External Fertilization, FSH, Female Hormones, Female Reproductive Anatomy, Fertilization, Fetal Development, Fission, Follicle Stimulating Hormone, Fragmentation, Gametogenesis, Gastrulation, Germ Layers, Gestation, GnRH, Gonadotropin-releasing Hormone, Hermaphroditism, Holoblastic, Human Beta Chorionic Gonadotropin, Human Birth, Human Pregnancy, Human Reproductive Anatomy, Infertility, Inhibin, Inner Cell Mass, Internal Fertilization, Interstitial Cell of Leydig, LH, Labia Majora, Labia Minora, Labor, Luteinizing Hormone, Male Hormones, Male Reproductive Anatomy, Menopause, Menstrual Cycle, Meroblastic, Morning Sickness, Neural Tube, Oogenesis, Organogenesis, Ovarian Cycle, Oviduct, Oviparity, Ovoviparity, Parthenogenesis, Penis, Placenta, Polyspermy, Pregnancy, Progesterone, Prostate Gland, Reproduction, Reproductive Anatomy, Reproductive Endocrinologist, Reproductive Hormones, Scrotum, Semen, Seminal Vesicle, Seminiferous Tubule, Sertoli Cell, Sex Determination, Sexual Reproduction, Sexual Response, Somite, Spermatheca, Spermatogenesis, Testis, Testosterone, Trimester, Trophoblast, Uterus, Vagina, Vertebrate Formation, Viviparity, Zona Pellucida, Zygote


Photo shows a yellow seahorse with its tail curled around a fragment of coral.
Female seahorses produce eggs for reproduction that are then fertilized by the male. Unlike almost all other animals, the male seahorse then gestates the young until birth. (credit: modification of work by "cliff1066"/Flickr)

Animal reproduction is necessary for the survival of a species. In the animal kingdom, there are innumerable ways that species reproduce. Asexual reproduction produces genetically identical organisms (clones), whereas in sexual reproduction, the genetic material of two individuals combines to produce offspring that are genetically different from their parents. During sexual reproduction the male gamete (sperm) may be placed inside the female’s body for internal fertilization, or the sperm and eggs may be released into the environment for external fertilization. Seahorses, like the one shown in Figure, provide an example of the latter. Following a mating dance, the female lays eggs in the male seahorse’s abdominal brood pouch where they are fertilized. The eggs hatch and the offspring develop in the pouch for several weeks.