CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Christmas Gift Guide
Sci-Tech

Male seahorses shoot out babies like they were bullets

Well, this is a most disturbing and also oddly fascinating video. Thanks, National Geographic!

Giving birth is a big deal to humans, and to many other creatures as well. Just look at how many are tuning in hoping to watch April the giraffe deliver her calf.

But to some creatures, spawning is as easy as spitting. National Geographic's Weird Animal Question of the Week, posted Saturday, asked about animals that spawn the most offspring in one go. And let's just say that even "Jon & Kate Plus Eight" would be laughed out of the room at this competition.

Seahorses make the list, and they even do a parenting pirouette, because it's the male seahorses who give birth. "Females insert their eggs into a male's brood pouch, as few as 150 or as many as 2,000," National Geographic reports, sharing a truly remarkable, year-old video of the rapid-fire birth process. "Seahorses seem to find it expedient to give birth like living confetti cannons." Yeah, that's an understatement.

But the seahorse looks like an amateur next to the true champion of child-birthing, the mola, or ocean sunfish. The fish, which National Geographic describes as "(looking) like an animal cracker someone bit in half," is nature's "heavyweight egg producer, releasing 300 million eggs over a spawning season."

That sounds like a lot, but of the 300 million, how many live to become adult mola? Only two, the site reports. And for the seahorses, like the one in the video above? Only about five in every 1,000 make it to adulthood. Those are grim odds, so keep on with your rapid-fire reproduction, guys. You need it.

It's Complicated: This is dating in the age of apps. Having fun yet? These stories get to the heart of the matter.

Batteries Not Included: The CNET team reminds us why tech is cool.