Tuesday, March 27, 2001
Unique "Dr. Seuss" Fish Goes on Display at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Scripps Institution of Oceanography / University of California, San Diego
FOR RELEASE: March
"DR. SEUSS" FISH GOES ON DISPLAY AT THE BIRCH AQUARIUM AT
Birch Aquarium is happy to say,
The Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography recently unveiled a new display tank that highlights the weedy seadragon, a fascinating animal from the temperate waters off southern Australia.
Weedy seadragons (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus) are members of the seahorse family and have an unusual appearance, with a long snout and tail, and leafy appendages streaming from its body.
These delicate fish are poor swimmers, but use their leaf-like appendages to help them blend into the algae and kelp surrounding them for protection from predators. The seadragons diet consists of mysid shrimp and other small crustaceans. The weedy seadragon is found in water 3 to 165 feet deep on sandy bottoms along the edge of reefs with kelp growth.
Although weedy seadragons are mature after one year, they usually breed in their second year of life. Like most seahorses, the males carry the eggs until they hatch. While seahorses carry the eggs internally in a pouch, male seadragons carry the maturing eggs externally along their tail, where their skin forms a cup around each egg. The six juvenile seadragons at the aquarium are currently only 6 inches long, and they may grow to be 18 inches in length.
THE BIRCH AQUARIUM AT SCRIPPS. OCEANS OF FUN!
The Birch Aquarium at Scripps on the World Wide Web: aquarium.ucsd.edu
Video of these amazing animals is available upon request.
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Scripps Institution of Oceanography, at University of California, San Diego, is one of the oldest, largest and most important centers for global science research and education in the world. The National Research Council has ranked Scripps first in faculty quality among oceanography programs nationwide Now in its second century of discovery, the scientific scope of the institution has grown to include biological, physical, chemical, geological, geophysical and atmospheric studies of the earth as a system. Hundreds of research programs covering a wide range of scientific areas are under way today in 65 countries. The institution has a staff of about 1,300, and annual expenditures of approximately $155 million from federal, state and private sources. Scripps operates one of the largest U.S. academic fleets with four oceanographic research ships and one research platform for worldwide exploration.
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