time travel romance (flightviolation) wrote in aminalfaks,
time travel romance
flightviolation
aminalfaks

the art of disguise

It's hard to spot a Leafy Sea Dragon in the sea. Oddly, in order to blend into the coral reef, looking like a Vegas showgirl is your best bet.



Leafy Sea Dragons:
The leafy sea dragon, Phycodurus eques (Günther, 1865), aka leafy seadragon or Glauerts seadragon, get their common names from the leaf-like appendages on the body. The leafy sea dragon has more of the leaf-like appendages on the body than the closely-related weedy sea dragon. Both species resemble floating pieces of seaweed which makes them difficult for predators to find in their natural habitat. They reach a total length of 35 cm.

Unlike seahorses, sea dragons do not have a pouch for rearing the young. Instead, the male carries the eggs fixed to the underside of his tail from where they eventually hatch. When male sea dragons are ready to receive eggs from the female, the lower half of the tail on the male appears wrinkled. During mating, the female lays 100-250 eggs onto a special 'brood patch' on the underside of the male's tail, where they are attached and fertilized. This brood patch, consisting of cups of blood-rich tissue each holding one egg, and is specifically developed by the male for use during the breeding season of August-March. The bright pink eggs become embedded in the cups of the brood patch, receiving oxygen via the cups' blood vessels. During each breeding season, male leafy sea dragons will hatch two batches of eggs. After a period of about 4-6 weeks from conception, the male 'gives birth' to miniature juvenile versions of sea dragons. As soon as a baby sea dragon leaves the safety of its father's tail, it is independent and receives no further help from its parents. For 2-3 days after birth, the baby sea dragons are sustained by their yolk sac. After this, they hunt small zooplankton, such as copepods and rotifers, until large enough to hunt juvenile mysids. Sea dragons grow to a length of 20 cm after one year, reaching their mature length at two years. In the wild, young sea dragons are preyed upon by other fish, crustaceans and evn sea anemones. Young sea dragons look more delicate, and are often differently colored than adults, and may hide in different types of seaweeds.



some gorgeous Images Here.
Tags: sea dragon
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