Seaweed or Weedy Seadragon?
You tell us!
A relative of the seahorse, the weedy seadragon is an iconic Australian species. With their vibrant patterns and unique, dragon-shaped bodies, they have an uncanny resemblance to seaweed, allowing them to be completely invisible to the untrained eye. At almost 1 foot (30 centimeters) long, they are particularly striking.
Can you spot the seadragon in the seaweed below?
Weedy sea dragons have very long, thin snouts; slender trunks covered in bony rings; and thin tails which, unlike their seahorse cousins, cannot be used for gripping. They have small, transparent dorsal and pectoral fins that propel and steer them awkwardly through the water, but they seem quite content to tumble and drift in the current like seaweed.
As with sea horses, sea dragon males are responsible for childbearing. But instead of a pouch, like sea horses have, male sea dragons have a spongy brood patch on the underside of the tail where females deposit their bright-pink eggs during mating. The eggs are fertilized during the transfer from the female to the male. The males incubate the eggs and carry them to term, releasing miniature sea dragons into the water after about four to six weeks.