As an example of the majesty of life, the art of camouflage and the extremes of evolution, look no further than the leafy South Australian sea dragon.
Affectionately called “Leafies” by Australians from Melbourne and Adelaide, it is a member of the genus that includes pipefish, sea dragons and seahorses, and takes its name from the large number of leaf-like protrusions along its body that only serve to camouflage it. between stalks of seaweed and seaweed.
Feeding on plankton and small crustaceans, they can grow to almost a foot in length.
For propulsion, they have dorsal and tail fins that are actually transparent compared to the leaf-like body parts that do nothing: they gently move the animal back and forth as it swims, mimicking algae that dance to its around. much like a chameleon camouflages their movements on the ground.
The dedication to camouflage and defense is impressive.
In nature, some individuals were observed staying still for 68 hours straight. In addition, its body is covered in hard bony plates and spikes, ruining the day of a fish tempted to bite it.
Yet in a strange riddle, according to National Geographic there is no sure evidence that any other animal takes advantage of them.
Maybe they “win the game” or maybe, like the American pronghorn hypothesis has been raised antelope, they developed their exquisite protection against a species that no longer exists.
With solitary lives about 160 feet underwater, males and females will band together to reproduce; it is the male’s responsibility to carry eggs and raise the young. The female will lay 250 eggs and lay them in the form of a kangaroo. bag on male’s tail.
Unsurprisingly, such a charismatic animal is prized by collectors as an aquarium species, and along with pollution, these are the most threatened animals. Fortunately, the animal is not endangered and is currently listed by the IUCN as a species of least concern.
(LOOK the video about the species below).
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