San Diego/ Parks & Nature
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Published on April 24, 2024
Birch Aquarium Celebrates Second Successful Weedy Seadragon Egg Transfer on Earth DaySource: Eric Kilby from Somerville, MA, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s another underwater win for Birch Aquarium! For the aquatic center located at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, the second successful Weedy Seadragon egg transfer has made waves.

The news surfaced on Earth Day, with Associate Curator Leslee Matsushige announcing, "We are very excited to have another male successfully carrying eggs," according to the aquarium's website. In an effort as delicate as the creatures themselves, the Seadragon & Seahorses habitat emulates the Australian waters these sea flora impersonators call home, enabling this reproductive accomplishment.

Understanding the intricate courtship of these critters, the male seadragon took to the spotlight with his newly acquired cargo that looked like small pink pearls. These eggs, carefully carried on his tail, showcase an aquatic ballet of nature's design. Visitors can glimpse this underwater spectacle for the next few weeks at the Birch Aquarium before the expectant father takes a behind-the-scenes break for the hatching process.

With climate change gnawing at their door, the Weedy Seadragons face a marathon of challenges in their natural habitat. Each successful breeding is a testament to Birch Aquarium’s efforts to bolster the species. Last year witnessed over 70 baby Weedy Seadragons joining the world post egg-hatch, a milestone for the species notoriously tough to breed in captivity, as Matsushige told Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

The aquarium, a stone's throw open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., decks itself out with extended hours from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. between March 1 through Labor Day. Prying eyes eager to dive into the underwater world of seadragons can snap up tickets online, with adults paying $29.95 and children shelling out $24.95.