A male leafy sea dragon with eggs

Paternal care

Paternal care is where the father of the offspring provides most or all of the effort needed to protect, feed or raise the young until they become independent. The most well-known example of paternal care is in seahorses, where the male broods the eggs in a pouch until they are ready to hatch. Primary paternal care is most common in egg-laying species and almost unheard of in mammals.

Watch video clips from past programmes (15 clips)

In order to see this content you need to have an up-to-date version of Flash installed and Javascript turned on.

View all 15 video clips

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.

Elsewhere on the BBC

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.