Nature Hot Topic

An end to male pregnancy

Male pregnancy is restricted to seahorses, pipefish and their relatives — the family Syngnathidae — in which the young are nurtured in the male’s brood pouch. These broody males do more than just act as a passive incubator, as Kimberly Paczolt and Adam Jones show in new research. It is already known that the brood pouch is a complex structure that nurtures the developing young. But as it nurtures, so can it weed. In the Gulf pipefish Syngnathus scovelli, males are shown to be capable of selectively aborting embryos from females perceived as less attractive, saving resources for more promising prospects encountered later. This is the only known example of postcopulatory sexual conflict in a sex-reversed species. [Letter p. 401; News & Views p. 364; www.nature.com/podcast]

Nature 464, 7287 table of contents

Top Ten Highlights

Sign up for Nature Research e-alerts to get the lastest research in your inbox every week.

More Hot Topics

PrivacyMark System