Animal Encounters

Fun Animal Encounters

From a hairy tarantula to a talking African gray parrot, you never know what you’ll bump into in Ranger Rick's Backyard Safari at the Tennessee Aquarium!

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Animal Keeper

Animal Keeper Updates

Get a peek behind the scenes of the Aquarium’s Husbandry department. Read their weekly animal updates and get an insider’s look at caring for over 10,000 animals and plants.

ANIMAL UPDATES
FISHES

Leafy Seadragon

Phycodurus eques

ON EXHIBIT:  Seahorse exhibit in River Journey

Leafy Seadragon

FUN FACTS

Leaf-like appendages on the head and body help camouflage this animal. Although its color looks bright in the Aquarium exhibit, its greenish coloration appears dull in its natural habitat. This makes the seadragon resemble a plant. More closely related to pipefish than seahorses, seadragons lack prehensile tails, do not swim vertically, and are larger than seahorses.


CONSERVATION
Seahorse numbers are in decline worldwide due to unscrupulous fishing practices and overharvesting, mostly for the Chinese medicine trade.  In 2004, all seahorse species were listed under the Conservation of International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) as appendix II.  This means that all trade of seahorses is strictly regulated and size limitations are imposed, ensuring that there is enough breeding activity to sustain the species.

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LEAFY SEADRAGON WALLPAPER


Leafy Seadragon

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SEYMOUR THE SEAHORSE GAME

Seymour the Seahorse game



Fan Photo

Leafy Seadragon
Photo by Mindy Roger Carder

About This Animal

SIZE: 45 cm as adults

RANGE: Southern Australia

HABITAT: Shallow grass flats

DIET:  Zooplankton


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