The [seahorse] couple halt in the open water column and hold their bodies close, forming a heart shape with their touching snouts and bellies. Their first attempt isn't quite right, so they break apart and try again several times until their position is perfected, the female just above the male. Then an extraordinary thing happens. A short hollow tube emerges from the female, which she pushes into an opening in her partner's belly. The couple raise their heads and arch their backs as the female shoots an egg-laden liquid into the male.