Leafy Sea Dragon
For my research paper I decided to write about the Leafy Sea Dragon. I learned many interesting things about this creature such as, Leafy Sea Dragons don’t have teeth, they can change their color to blend in with their surroundings and the Australian law protects them. Come with me on a journey to learn even more amazing things about this mysterious underwater creature.
The Leafy Sea Dragon grows to be at least 18” in size. It doesn’t look like a typical seahorse because it has lobes of skin that grow on it to make it look like seaweed. Its leafy appearance makes it look like seaweed moving through the water. Like I mentioned before, it has no teeth. It has a pectoral fin on the ridge of it’s neck and a dorsal fin on it’s back, closer to it’s tail end.
As with seahorses, the Leafy Sea Dragon moves the fins along the side of its head to steer and turn. These fins and its leafy skin lobes help in camouflaging the Leafy Sea Dragon, which is important to its survival. It is a pretty slow moving creature, which is why it looks like seaweed, so it can blend in.
The Leafy Sea Dragon uses its long snout to eat food. It generally eats plankton, shrimp and other small fish, therefore it is a carnivore. It is unusual that this animal eats meat considering it doesn’t even have teeth! The Sea Dragon is generally low on the food chain. Other bigger fish eat and prey upon this small creature.
The only waters that harbor the Leafy Sea Dragon are on the Western shoreline of Australia. They travel several hundred miles from their habitat and then return to the same spot using it’s strong sense of direction. They are found around clumps of sand in waters up to 50 meters deep. They hide in the rocks and the sea grass.
The female Leafy Sea Dragon can have up to 250 eggs at a time. But, just like seahorses, the male Leafy Sea Dragon takes care of the eggs. She passes them on to the male by a long tube. It takes around 9 weeks for the...