A male weedy sea dragon has given birth at SeaWorld Orlando. This is the first weedy sea dragon birth at SeaWorld Orlando and only three other aquariums in the United States have successfully hatched weedy sea dragons.
Weedy sea dragons (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus) are related the more familiar seahorses. Like seahorses, the males carry the eggs until they are ready to hatch. The babies are independent at birth.
The weedy sea dragon is classified as Near Threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). They’re native to coastal regions around southeastern Australia and Tasmania. Their habitat is at risk from development and pollution and their population could indicate the health of the ecosystems they live in.
Weedy sea dragon photo via Shutterstock