La Jolla, Calif. (Gray News) – A female sea dragon at Birch Aquarium has had the extremely rare success of transferring eggs to a male sea dragon, according to the University of California, San Diego.
This is the first time a sea dragon has spawned on the public side of an aquarium.
“We are delighted to be able to witness this in our aquarium. Sea dragons are very rare to breed in captivity, so this is monumental for all of our staff.” This is a significant milestone,” said Jen Nero Moffat, Senior Director of Animal Care.
Moffat says the staff have been working with sea dragons since 1996 and have learned a lot over the years while investing heavily in the breeding program.
“From the lighting to the stonework. Everything has been strategically designed with sea dragon breeding in mind,” Moffat said in a press release.
Like seahorses, male seadragons are responsible for carrying the eggs. The transfer only takes place after the sea dragon participates in an elaborate courtship dance, according to the university.
Male sea dragons in Birch Aquarium carry eggs on their tails for four to six weeks before they hatch.
The university explained that only a small fraction of the eggs develop.
The Sea Dragon and Seahorse Exhibit at Birch Aquarium is one of the largest sea dragon habitats in the world.
Designed to create an ideal environment for seadragons to breed. The display is 18 feet wide by 9 feet high and holds 5,375 gallons of water.
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