Everywhere we look in the natural world, we see examples of design that amaze us and cause us to wonder at the intelligence and wisdom we see demonstrated. Reproductive systems are especially amazing because there are so many things that can happen to disrupt the reproductive process and destroy the developing offspring. Most fish reproduce by a mass production system. The female fish will lay massive numbers of eggs, the male will fertilize them, and in most cases the adults leave or die and the eggs are on their own. The vast percentage of the eggs or baby fish become food for other forms of life. In previous issues of this journal we have talked about salmon and how they sustain the whole ecological system of Alaska, and they are an example of this. Some fish that lay fewer eggs hang around and protect the nest, but even in those cases the reproductive system feeds many other forms of life.

In the sea horse we have a completely different kind of fish with a completely different reproductive system. Sea horses are very slow and most sea horses are too small to produce massive volumes of eggs. The reproductive system utilized by other fish would not work well for the sea horse. In fact the reproductive system of sea horses is radically different than any other fish.

The female will lay her eggs in a pouch on the front of the male sea horses’ body. The male has a tube-shaped organ called an ovipositor which fertilizes the eggs, but this tube also secretes a fluid which contains nutrients and oxygen. The eggs are sustained by the ovipositor for several weeks, and when the time is right the male “gives birth to” (or maybe ejects would be a better term) the baby sea horses completely formed and ready to go into seaweed or some other structure where they can survive. The sea horse has perhaps the most efficient reproductive system among fishes and one of the most efficient of all living things in the sea.

The traditional models of how such a system might develop by chance processes fail pretty badly. It seems that God has designed a unique system of reproduction for a unique form of life--a dandy design of the Creator.

Reference: Science Illustrated, November/December 2007, page 33.

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