The Sea Dragon of the Seas, the Leafy Sea Dragon
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The Sea Dragon of the Seas, the Leafy Sea Dragon

The Leafy Sea Dragon is a unique and beautiful fish found around Australia.

The Leafy Sea Dragon is a sub-species of the seahorse, and pipefish. However, the Leafy Sea Dragon is the only species in their sub-category. They can be found along the southern and western part of Australia. Since they are only found in a specific area and are few in numbers, they are considered an endangered species.

The Leafy Sea Dragon is a strange looking fish that despite their name only resembles a sea dragon slightly. These fish can grow to the length of 20-23 centimetres, making them slightly larger than a seahorse. Their bodies resemble a floating piece of seaweed or kelp; this helps camouflage them against prey and predators. Leafy Sea Dragons prefer to stay in one spot for extended periods of time. They have been known to stay in the same spot for up to 66 hours straight. However, they have also been known to travel great distances, some moving as much as 490 feet in an hour.

Unlike seahorses, Leafy Sea Dragons cannot grasp with their tails. This inability can cause them great problems during stormy weather. During storms, seahorses use their tails to latch on to kelp to keep themselves from being knocked around, but sea dragons cannot do this. During severe storms, sea dragons can be badly injured, relocated or even killed.

Leafy Sea Dragons are very much like seahorses on how they reproduce. Females lay around 250 eggs, which the males carry. The young are born very vulnerable and only about 5% of the babies born survive to become adults.

Leafy Sea Dragons have pipe-like mouths. They feed on a variety of small animals, but prefer plankton and mystics. They will also feed on small crustaceans like shrimp and small fish. They are ambush hunters, and will usually wait patiently for their prey to come to them. Leafy Sea Dragons are prey to many fish, such as barracuda, sharks, large eels, and large grouper. They are also hunted by humans. Humans most often kill them for use in alternative medicine or to taxidermy them. However, the biggest killer of Leafy Sea Dragons is pollution.

Leafy Sea Dragons are strange and beautiful fish that sadly are going extinct. Like all the amazing creatures that swim in Earth’s oceans, they are greatly affected by the pollution and toxins we humans dump in the water. While, stricter laws are being enacted to help protect our oceans and all its inhabitants, it may be too little too late. Sadly, many countries and large corporations simply do not care. Future generations may never have the opportunity to see these unique and amazing fish except in a book or on the internet.

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Comments (1)

Enjoy these, pipefish and seahorses. Seahorses are my persona faves.