Georgia Aquarium Reports Expectant Sea Dragon
An old saying states, ‘A woman becomes a mother when she gets pregnant. A man becomes a father when his baby is born.’
For weedy sea dragons, however, this may not be the case. The male of the species carries the eggs, making Father’s Day extra special for one sea dragon at the Georgia Aquarium. The colorful creature, which resembles a character from a children’s book or cartoon, carries about 70 fertilized eggs on his tale. Papa Dragon’s expected due date is mid-July.
Weedy sea dragons typically grow to about 18 inches in length, and live in waters up to 50 meters deep along the southern coastline of Australia. The species are listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s list of threatened species. The species? future is at stake due pollution and population growth in its native waters.
Experts are not sure what environmental factors encourage weedy sea dragons to mate, so mating in captivity is rare. The survival rate for sea dragons in captivity, however, is 60 percent. The Georgia Aquarium recently made some changes in the sea dragons’ lighting and habitat, which may have sparked pro-creation between two of the aquarium’s seven sea dragons.
Only a handful of species exist where the males carry the eggs, but, believe it or not, the concept is not unheard of amongst human beings, either. Earlier this spring, a Babies Online blogger reported that a transgender man in Oregon was carrying his unborn daughter.
The sea dragon, however, won’t have to face any of the challenges or prejudices the pregnant Oregon man has encountered, but will simply swim around with the eggs, hatched by the mother, firmly attached to his tail. Trust me, this definitely beats going through a hot summer with 20-plus extra pounds and an expanding belly. Interestingly, 34-year-old Thomas Beattie is also due this summer.
Babies Online wishes all fathers and expectant dads’regardless of their specific role in the pregnancy?a happy father’s day!