Cryp­tic beauty

Australian Geographic - - Wild Australia -

Early sum­mer is the time to watch for ‘preg­nant’ male weedy sead­rag­ons in the coastal wa­ters of south­ern Aus­tralia. Th­ese exquisitely cam­ou­flaged fish oc­cur nowhere else in the world, and, as is the case for their close rel­a­tives the sea­horses, male sead­rag­ons are re­spon­si­ble for brood­ing and hatch­ing eggs. Un­like sea­horses, how­ever, male sead­rag­ons lack a pouch and in­stead the fe­male lays eggs on a brood patch on the un­der­side of the male’s tail, like the re­splen­dent pink mass seen on this one (left).

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