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Friday, December 3, 2010

Study of the Leafy Sea Dragon

These are gorgeous little creatures that I've always wanted to draw or paint.  Due to their fragile nature in captivity, they are best seen in the wild (off the western and southern coast of Australia) or in public aquariums.  I did see one at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, California, and the Atlanta, Georgia Aquarium.  I had to resort to a page from a National Geographic Magazine (I believe the photo was by Greg Rouse) to use as my photographic reference.

These little gems are related to seahorses.  The sea dragon grows bony prongs from the spine, ribs and head that trail gauze-thin ribbons resembling seaweed.  If they are not moving, they are totally camouflaged by the real seaweed.  To move around, they beat transparent fins along their neck and back which gives them the look of drifting seaweed.  They can grow to a foot long.


ti-igra said...

Oh, God! What a miracle! I never knew it! I never heard or seen about this strange creature! Thank you, Carolyn, that enlightened me! I love it! I am impressed your love of nature, anything that breathes. Wonderful! Probably fun to paint it! He is so colorfull and his face looks so kind! :)))

LIZ said...

What a lovely little guy! I'd never heard of this creature before and it is delightful!