A Southern California aquarium has built what is believed to be one of the world’s largest habitats for sea dragons, the lesser-known cousin of the seahorse.
The Birch Aquarium at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego hopes the exhibit will lead to the leafy sea dragon being bred for the first time in captivity.
The sea dragons’ native populations off Australia are threatened by pollution, warming oceans and the illegal pet and alternative medicine trades
Few aquariums have sea dragons. There are only two types of sea dragons, the leafy and the weedy, and each represents its own genus.
Both kinds are found only in a small area of temperate waters off the southern and western coasts of Australia.
The California exhibit opened this month.