The seadragon in photos

By Tyler Stiem

A pair of leafy seadragons swimming together. The leaf-like appendages help the animals to blend in with their surroundings. They are not used for locomotion. Photo: Dave Harasti/daveharasti.com

A pair of leafy seadragons swimming together. The leaf-like appendages help the animals to blend in with their surroundings. They are not used for locomotion. Photo: Dave Harasti/daveharasti.com

A vibrantly coloured weedy seadragon swimming. Seadragons can change colou to blend in with their surroundings. Photo: Dave Harasti/daveharasti.com

A vibrantly coloured weedy seadragon swimming. Seadragons can change colou to blend in with their surroundings. Photo: Dave Harasti/daveharasti.com

A weedy seadragon swimming above a kelp bed. Seadragons inhabit seagrasses, kelp beds and rocky coral reefs. Photo: Keith Martin-Smith/Project Seahorse

A weedy seadragon swimming above a kelp bed. Seadragons inhabit seagrasses, kelp beds and rocky coral reefs. Photo: Keith Martin-Smith/Project Seahorse

Weedy seadragons gather in large groups of 20 or more individuals to breed, akin to 'lekking' behaviour in some land animals. Photo: Keith Martin-Smith/Project Seahorse

Weedy seadragons gather in large groups of 20 or more individuals to breed, akin to 'lekking' behaviour in some land animals. Photo: Keith Martin-Smith/Project Seahorse

A close-up view of markings on a weedy seadragon. Photo: Keither Martin-Smith/Project Seahorse

A close-up view of markings on a weedy seadragon. Photo: Keither Martin-Smith/Project Seahorse

As in the case of seahorses, male seadragons carry the fertilized eggs. Instead of carrying them in pouches, seadragons carry them on brood patches, a specialized area of skin on the underside of their tails. Here, a male carries eggs that have become covered in algae as they develop. Photo: Keith Martin-Smith/Project Seahorse

As in the case of seahorses, male seadragons carry the fertilized eggs. Instead of carrying them in pouches, seadragons carry them on brood patches, a specialized area of skin on the underside of their tails. Here, a male carries eggs that have become covered in algae as they develop. Photo: Keith Martin-Smith/Project Seahorse

A weedy seadragon feeding. Seadragons depend on mysid shrimp, sea lice, and other tiny marine creatures for sustenance. Their fused jaw allows them to suck their prey from the surrounding water with great efficiency. Photo: Keith Martin-Smith/Project Seahorse

A weedy seadragon feeding. Seadragons depend on mysid shrimp, sea lice, and other tiny marine creatures for sustenance. Their fused jaw allows them to suck their prey from the surrounding water with great efficiency. Photo: Keith Martin-Smith/Project Seahorse

Like seahorses, seadragons belong to the family Syngnathidae. 'Syn' means fused and 'gnathus' means jaw. All syngnathids have fused jaws.

Like seahorses, seadragons belong to the family Syngnathidae. 'Syn' means fused and 'gnathus' means jaw. All syngnathids have fused jaws.

A leafy seadragon in profile. Photo: Dave Harasti/daveharasti.com

A leafy seadragon in profile. Photo: Dave Harasti/daveharasti.com