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Animal Attraction



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Wild Attire
Photograph by David Hall

Horse meets tiger meets fish? The whimsical costume of the weedy sea dragon can actually serve as camouflage in the dappled sunlight of its algal habitat. Whether color is also a factor in mate choice is unclear—scientists have a hard enough time just telling male from female. In this case there's a clue: The dragon is pregnant—so it's a male. As with sea horses, sea dragon males work as incubators: A female deposits her pink eggs in her mate's "brood patch" (the spongy tissue beneath the tail), where he'll fertilize them and carry them to term.





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