Friday, April 22, 2016

Ruby-red seadragon species spotted in the wild for the first time

There are rubies in the sea. Not gemstones, but ruby-colored seadragons that have been spotted in the wild for the first time, in the waters off Western Australia. The discovery made by marine biologists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography confirms that there is a third species of seadragon, an enchanting fish that's often mistaken for a sea horse — if it can be seen at all. Scientists had long believed that there are only two species of seadragons — leafy and weedy. Both have such great camouflage that they often seem to be invisible. Scripps biologist Greg Rouse and his colleagues were studying seadragon tissue samples provided by the Western Australian Museum when they began to suspect they had a third species on their hands. Advances in imaging and DNA technology allowed them to prove that their hunch was correct. Early last year, Rouse and his team named the species ruby, due to its vibrant red color. And they set a goal: find it in the wild...more

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