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Leafy Sea Dragon

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Michelle Cota

on 28 March 2013

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Transcript of Leafy Sea Dragon

Michelle Cota Leafy Sea Dragon They don't really have an importance in the ecosystem. They're not in families (travel/stay in pairs or alone); protect themselves from danger by hiding in seaweed. Life Cycle/Reproduction.
Ecological Importance. Live in temperate waters over sand patches among kelp reefs. Habitat, Range, Adaptations, & Behavior! This sea dragon sucks up its prey using a long pipe-like snout and small mouth. Diet! These seadragons us fins along the side of its head to steer and turn. Locomotion! Usually yellow-green in color Description! Common Name- Leafy Sea Dragon Names! Scientific Name- Phycodurus eques Kindom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Osteichthyes
Order: Syngnathiformes
Family: Syngnathidae But can have blue or brown leaves. Lives in sea weed- this helps with hiding them from predators. The body is covered in protective jointed plates, instead of scales, and long sharp spines line its' dorsal edge. These Sea Dragons only get 35 centimeters. (14 in.) The outer skin is hard so it limits the mobility. Some seadragons are even known to stay in one spot for up to 68 hours at a time because of not being able to move well. But! when they do move, it's for lengthy periods. They move up to 150 meters (490 feet) per hour. Favorite Food: zooplankton, sea lice, and mysid shrimps. The shrimp actually feed on red algae (seaweed) in the shade of kelp forests where the sea dragons live. In South Australia, they're found on kelp reefs ranging from 4 to 30 meters down. Western Australia: found only deeper than 20 meters. •The appendages growing from their bodies makes it impossible for the potential predators to find them. And the rows of spines also protect them against predators. ••The pectoral fins located on both sides of their necks help them to maintain balance.
The long dorsal fins aid in propelling them forward in water. This species do not have teeth. Instead, they use their long snouts to suck preys in their mouths. •They like to swim alone or in pairs; and they're most active during the day. These fish are not great swimmers. They usually drift with the current in the water. Their eggs take around 2 months to hatch. The Weedy Sea Dragon babies start feeding shortly after their birth. Juveniles of this species are able to reproduce within the first year of their growth. But, they generally wait until they reach full maturity at 2 years of age. They attain sexual maturity when 2 years old. The females lay approximately 120 eggs in the “brood pouches” of the males, where the eggs get fertilized. Male Weedy Sea Dragons carry the eggs with them until they hatch. Life Span is 2 to 3 years in an aquarium, and 5 to 10 in the wild. The Sea Dragons' main defense is their appearance, which lets them to blend in with the surrounding kelp. They're slow and so fragile that they can be killed just by simple handling. They are classified as "near threatened" on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and have been placed under the protection of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act of 1999. Humans capture these creatures for alternative medicine, to keep as pets, or just out of curiosity. This is why they're becoming so extinct. Leafy Sea Dragons have no known predators, except for humans that try to catch them. They were named seadragons after the dragons of Chinese legends, leafy seadragons resemble the dragon of fairy tales. http://www.australiananimallearningzone.com/weedy-sea-dragon.htm



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