Dubai Aquarium welcomes colourful sea dragons


By Bernd Debusmann Jr.

To celebrate 2016’s Chinese New Year, the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo has invited over a few new guests: a number of colourful Weedy Sea Dragons.

1The Sea Dragons – closely related to seahorses – are among the most ornately camouflaged animals in the world. Their entire bodies are adorned with leaf-shaped appendages.

“Sea dragons are endemic to waters off south and east Australia and these graceful aquatic dragons are the beauty of the ocean,” Paul Hamilton, General Manager and Curator of the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, told Khaleej Times. Hamilton added that housing the sea dragons in a secure facility such as Dubai Aquarium is important.

“Only a few aquariums have successfully captive bred these species; this is becoming increasingly important as they are now listed as Near-Threatened in the IUCN Red List, mainly due to their habitats being destroyed by pollution and human interference,” he said.

“They were flown in to Dubai packed individually, in carefully maintained low temperatures – this reduced their metabolism, resulting in minimal stress during transportation. They then underwent five hours of slow acclimatisation before being introduced to their tank, which is themed to mimic their natural habitat as much as possible, with plenty of artificial sea weed and giant kelp surrounding it.” More info