Because weedy seadragons are not good swimmers, they are slow-moving and drift in the water and rely on their primary defense mechanism of camouflage to protect them from predation.
Because weedy seadragons are not good swimmers, they are slow-moving and drift in the water with their life-like appendages resembling the swaying seaweed of their habitat. As such, the weedy seadragon’s primary defense mechanism against predation is its camouflage abilities.
Weedy seadragons are not sessile or immobile, but they are not very good swimmers, either. This is because their bodies are surrounded by protective dermal plates, which inhibit their mobility. Also, they lack a caudal fin, and therefore must rely on their ventral and dorsal fins for swimming.
The weedy seadragon is named for its varying number of small, leaf-like appendages, either paired or single, along its body. These purple appendages have a black border and provide the fish camouflage and protection in its habitat because they resemble floating kelp fronds and seaweed.
• Image | © Geoffrey Gilmour-Taylor, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
• Sources | (Bray, 2011; Dawson, 1985; Dragon Search, 2000; Frostic, 2000; Glover, Southcott, & Scott, 1974; Kuiter, 1980; MESA, 2015; Pollom, 2017; Sea Life Melbourne, 2015; The Wikimedia Foundation, 2019)