Friday, July 6, 2012

Fun Facts Friday ~ What Am I?

I live in the waters of South and East Australia. I'm closely related to the seahorse. I stay safe from predators using a neat form of camouflage. What am I?

The Leafy Sea Dragon, of course!

I'm Not Seaweed!

The leafy sea dragon is a wonderfully weird creature - it looks like floating seaweed - which is how it keeps from being somone's lunch. It grows to 45 cm in length, is green to yellow-brown in colour and has thin bands or stripes around its body. However, the most amazing and beautiful part of the sea dragon is its leaf-like appendages - they really do look like floating seaweed!

Suck it Up

Just like a seahorse, the leafy sea dragon uses its tube-like nose and tiny mouth to suck up food. Its favorite meal are the teeny shrimp called mysid, sea lice and plankton. Since the leafy sea dragon doesn't have any teeth, all the food it consumes must be small enough to fit through its long snout.

Daddy/Mommy

Along with the seahorse, the leafy sea dragon is the only species on earth where the males carry and raise the young.
A female will lay up to 250 pink eggs which are deposited on the males tail called a "brood patch." This special area is where the tiny eggs are fertilized and given oxygen. The eggs will remain here for nine weeks until they turn color (purple or orange). Once the eggs are ready to hatch, Dad sea dragon will pump his tail up and down, helping his young to emerge from their eggs.

For more information on the leafy sea dragon or other marine fish and animals, check out the Internet, your local library or an aquarium.

Check out knowonder magazine for kids to read a new xtory everyday and fun non-fiction.  We even have an app!

1 comments:

Wendy said...

Fabulous facts for kids [and bigger kids]!

These facts go to show the wonder of God's marvellous creation.

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