A Southern California aquarium has successfully bred the rare weedy sea dragon, the lesser identified cousin of the seahorse that resembles seaweed when floating.
San Diego’s Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography mentioned in a information launch Thursday that two weedy sea dragons have hatched this week, making the aquarium one of many few on the planet to successfully breed the weird fish.
The infants with leafy appendages are lower than an inch lengthy, and have eaten their first meal of tiny shrimp. The aquarium is preserving the fragile creatures out of public view for now.
The hatchlings come lower than a 12 months after the aquarium on the University of California, San Diego constructed what’s believed to be one of many world’s largest habitats for the sea dragons, whose native populations off Australia are threatened by air pollution, warming oceans and the unlawful pet and different drugs trades.
The 5.5-metre-long tank has 11 weedy sea dragons and three leafy sea dragons, which have by no means been bred in captivity.
The aquarium hopes to breed the 2 totally different sorts of sea dragons so scientists can study extra concerning the mysterious species. Little is thought about them as a result of their populations are so small and in distant areas.
Since 1995, the Birch Aquarium has bred 13 seahorse species, sharing greater than 5,000 juvenile seahorses with different aquariums all over the world.
So far, solely the weedy sea dragon has been bred in captivity, and solely a handful of instances.
The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif., was the primary on the planet to breed the weedy sea dragons in 2001. It is also attempting to breed leafy sea dragons.