If you're a fan of fantasy novels or old fairy tales, you've probably read more than one story featuring a dragon. Dragons usually fly through the air at incredible speeds with the help of their huge wings. They also breathe fire, making them a formidable opponent in a battle.
Dragon-like creatures have also been rumored to live under the sea. Sometimes these sea serpents take on mythical status, like the Loch Ness Monster. However, did you know that there really are dragons that live in the sea?
It's true! What are we talking about? Sea dragons, of course! Sea dragons, whose scientific name is Phycodurus eques, are also known as leafy sea dragons, Glaudert's sea dragons, or simply “leafies."
Sea dragons are fish from the scientific family Syngnathidae, which includes the sea dragon's closest marine relative: the seahorse! Sea dragons live along the southern coastlines of Australia.
Their name comes from their unique appearance. Sea dragons are not easy to spot, since they're often confused with floating seaweed. And guess what? That's just how the sea dragon likes it.
Sea dragons have long leaf-like parts all over their bodies. Since these “leaves" move around, some people mistakenly believe that they help sea dragons move. However, their only purpose is camouflage.
Sea dragons actually move themselves through the water with two small fins, one on the ridge of their necks and the other near their tails. These fins are nearly transparent, which is why most people don't notice them.
The fins help sea dragons to float peacefully through the water at a slow pace. This enables them — along with their leafy appendages — to look just like floating seaweed. By disguising themselves in this way, sea dragons can hide in seaweed and kelp beds to elude predators.