The Tasmanian sea dragon (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus) or weedy sea dragon belongs to the pipefish (Syngnathidae).
Stringed bone plates give robustness to the fragile body. The thoracic and dorsal fins, with which the sea dragon can move forward and backward as well as up and down almost weightlessly, serve as propulsion organs. He has numerous body processes, which consist of skin flaps, and are reproduced in detail to the ramifications of Tang tufts
The brownish-yellow color and the pattern of the skin enhance the camouflage in the seagrass and meadows in addition. The sea dragon reaches a total length of about 46 centimeters.
Defense and hunting strategy of the Tasmanian sea dragon
Due to their body shape and color, they appear to robbers as working algae tufts. At the same time, they are well camouflaged for their own prey. Unobtrusively, sea dragons drive to a shrimp, sight the prey and suck it in lightning fast into the mouth opening at the end of the tube mouth. This process is so fast that it is difficult to see with the naked eye.
The brood-business is with the Tasmanian sea dragons, as also with all other pipefish, men’s thing. After an impressive courtship, the male takes over the eggs from the female. These are covered with a sticky substance so that they can adhere to the body and at the same time this substance causes a proliferating expansion of the skin surface. This type of brood care allows the eggs to develop optimally, provide sufficient oxygen and provide sufficient protection against predators.
The Tasmanian sea dragon is a fantastic animal.
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