Sea Dragons are the most mysterious and spectacular of all the ocean fishes. They are close relatives of sea horses but have larger bodies and have leaf like appendages. These appendages enable them to camouflage among floating seaweed or kelp beds. Sea Dragons generally feed on amphipods, larva fish, small shrimps like crustaceans called mysids. Two species of sea dragons exist.
1.Weedy sea dragon: It lives among the weed beds in the southern coast of mainland Australia and Tasmania.
2.Leafy sea dragon: It lives along the western and southern Australian coast.
Sea horses are the most elaborately and beautifully camouflaged creatures. They are perfectly blended with the seaweeds and among the kelp formations, they live in. Sea dragons have long and thin snouts; they have slender trunks covered with bony rings. They have thin tails very unlike their sea horse cousins.
Sea dragon males are responsible for childbearing. Male sea dragons have spongy patch under the tail where the female deposits the eggs that are bright pink. The eggs fertilize during the transfer from the female to the male. The male sea dragons incubate the eggs. They release the miniature sea dragons in about four to six weeks.
Sea dragons are fishes:
Sea dragons are fishes and a type of seahorse. You will find Leafy sea dragons and smaller weedy sea dragons. Found in shallow seas near the southern and western shores of Australia, Sea dragons have a peculiar appearance and behavior.
Their appearance and behavior:
They look like weeds and have flaps and extensions. When they swim in the ocean, it appears as if pieces of seaweeds are floating on the water. Nature has bestowed them with this very effective camouflage. Due to this appearance they are called leafy or weedy sea dragons.
Sea dragons have fins on the neck and back near the tail. The fins are transparent and move back and forth. This helps the sea horse to move through the water. They are not great swimmers though. Like the sea horses they do not have a tail to anchor them to the plants. Thus, they are tossed during a storm to the shore.
Life and death:
Female sea dragons lay eggs on the tail of the male sea dragon. The male sea dragon protects them until they hatch. When the female and male weedy sea dragon mate they perform an elaborate ritual of courtship. This ritual is called as the “mirror dance”. This dance, when they come together to mate is usually performed during the fading evening light. In this duet, each partner mirrors the action of the other. Dragons are endangered species due to pollution in the sea, and because divers capture and pet them.
Sea dragons are a marvel of the nature. They are worth closely observing since they are the most ornately camouflaged creatures that look extremely beautiful.
Hello I am Rosy Smith.I am doing research on Deep sea, sea life as well as on Sea animals also.that sea animals like all marine Deep sea fishes, Seahorse, Sea snakes, Sea monkeys, Sea sponges etc.I love Deep Sea Diving.