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A Seadragon Birthday

Our First Hatched Baby Seadragon Turns 1!

Following in the footsteps of our successful Seahorse Propagation Program, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, Birch Aquarium’s husbandry team is developing a propagation program for seadragons. Found only off the coast of Australia, seadragons are endangered and breeding programs such as ours can help protect [...]

Update: Seadragon Conservation Breeding Program

This fall, Birch Aquarium at Scripps has been busy preparing to launch our new seadragon conservation initiative.

Our exhibit designers are working closely with the Husbandry Department to design a state-of-the-art, onsite laboratory that will support efforts to breed this incredible species. They are using valuable information gained from aquarist Leslee Matsushige when she traveled to Australia last [...]

Seadragons, Part 6: Leafy Seadragons

By Leslee Matsushige, aquarium co-creator

Our first excursion after arriving in Adelaide was to Victor Harbor – about 80 km (~50 miles) south on the coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula – to dive at Rapid Bay Jetty. This site comprises an older, longer wooden jetty (now closed to the public) and a shorter jetty that was recently built following campaigning by [...]

Seadragons, Part 5: Diving at Flinder’s and Visting Melbourne Aquarium

By Leslee Matsushige, aquarium co-curator

I’m happy to report that our second trip to Flinder’s Jetty was a success!

If you recall, we were greeted with murky water during our first attempt to dive at the Jetty, a well known site for weedy seadragons. Strong northernly winds didn’t make us feel optimistic about our second [...]

Seadragons, Part 4: The Importance of this Trip

By Leslee Matsushige, aquarium co-curator

Each day I’m in Australia, I realize just how important this trip is for Birch Aquarium at Scripps and for me, personally.

Our aquarists have learned a great deal about caring for seadragons over the past several years, but nothing can compare to the experience of seeing the animals in their [...]

Seadragons, Part 3: Sydney Aquarium & Diving in Melbourne

By Leslee Matsushige, aquarium co-curator

Our research in Australia continues.

On Friday, Scripps Institution of Oceanography professor Greg Rouse and I had the great opportunity to meet Sydney Aquarium head aquarist Amy Wilkes. She gave us a tour of their incredible aquarium (they have a very interesting platypus exhibit) and showed us the behind-the-scenes set-up [...]

Seadragons, Part 2: Diving in Sydney

By Leslee Matsushige, aquarium co-curator

Hello from Down Under!

Scripps Institution of Oceanography professor Greg Rouse and I arrived in Sydney on April 25 to a very windy day. We met up with  Nerida Wilson, a research scientist at the Australian Museum who’s also a Scripps research associate. Nerida has been studying seadragon biology with Greg [...]

Seadragons, Part 1: Traveling ‘Down Under’ to Study Seadragons

Leafy seadragon

By Leslee Matsushige, Birch Aquarium co-curator

“I never knew a fish like this existed!”

We often hear comments like this from visitors standing in front of our seadragon tanks. These remarkable fish – relatives of seahorses – are beautifully colored with leaf-shaped appendages that help them blend into their native Australian waters.

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Unique Gifts for Marine-Life Lovers

Tis’ the SEAson to shop for great ocean-themed gifts. Visit the Birch Aquarium Gift Shop (you don’t need an admission ticket to shop!) and browse our selection of unique items for the holidays, including books, glass paperweights, ornaments, toys, and clothing for adults and kids. We can also mail to anywhere!