The two species of sea dragons—leafy and weedy—are close relatives of seahorses, with extra decorative fins that help them blend with the floating seaweed in which they live.

What They Eat

Sea dragons eat tiny sea creatures, mostly shrimp-like animals called mysids. They may suck in as many as 1,000 a day.

Where They Live

Sea dragons exist in only a very small part of the earth’s oceans, relying on particular kelp (seaweed) forests off the southern coast of Australia.

What They Do

Sea dragons swim slowly with nearly invisible movements of their fins but mostly go with the flow of the water among the sea plants they resemble.

How They’re Doing

Sea dragons came perilously close to disappearing in the 1990s due to pollution and habitat loss. Australia has officially protected the populations but pollution remains a threat.

Where in the World

Australia

Habitat

Ocean

Conservation Status

conservationStatus_NT

Animal Facts

Length: Leafy, up to 13.5”
Length: Weedy, up to 18”

Taxonomic Category

Fish

Where at the Zoo

Discovery Bay

Sea dragons are extremely delicate. They can be injured even by the simple touch of a human hand.

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