From Ripley's Aquarium Myrtle Beach:
Ripley's Aquarium has added a very special Leafy seadragon to one of its displays. This young individual has been growing up at the Aquarium's offsite Marine Science Building and is now large enough to introduce into one of the aquarium tanks in the Living in Water Gallery.
Leafy seadragons are named for their leaf-like appendages that extend from their skin which helps to camouflage this animal from would be predators. Their long tubular snout does not bite its food; instead they draw small shrimp into their mouth by creating suction - much like a straw.
Seadragons are close relatives of the seahorse, growing to 14 inches in length. Similar to male seahorses that carry the eggs in a brood pouch, the male seadragon carries the female's eggs on a brood patch along the tail.
The Leafy seadragon is listed as a "near threatened" animal in Australia and is protected by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species). These amazing animals are very rare and can be found in only a few Aquariums and Zoos throughout the world.