Lilly the Leafy Sea Dragon!

Hi, my name is Lilly, I am a leafy Sea Dragon, but my scientific name is Phycodurus eques. I am 19 years old and live on the southern Australian coast. I live in areas like rocks, reefs, sand patches, seaweed beds, and seagrass meadows. Today I focused on swimming to deeper water, because of the terrible Australian winter that is hitting my coast. When the Australian winter comes there is less food for me and my fellow Leafy Sea Dragons, so in the middle of the season we head to the deeper water . We also go there because it is a place where we can mate for the winter. Since I do not have a stomach or teeth, I eat all day long and camouflage from my prey. So I mostly interact with mysid shrimp, plankton, and crustaceans. I have a very small mouth compared to my head, which sometimes I get made fun of from the other fish. What I have been thinking  alot about is how so much of my home and relatives have died off. How one day my home will die and all species will die too. Lots of fisher and aquariums take my family away and every year when it is winter I see less and less males to mate with so our population will be less. My favorite place to stay is a wonderful camouflage able seaweed reef. I have lived there my whole life. Sence was first born because when I was born my father and mother left us, because for leafy sea dragons the mother does not need to nurture us. 

I live a mostly solitary life and love it! I am mostly an introvert. Most of the days I am eating and staying camouflaged for my atack on my prey. Sometimes it helps if I go deeper into water so my victims can not see me, and how to stay hidden is because my colors change. My adaptation is my color changing skills and my leafy appendages sway in the ocean current so that I can look natural in the seaweed and reefs. As you know, now I speak a lot about my camouflage. Well….. that is also why I defend myself from predators and my prey.I also have spink that are hard plates. I am a nocturnal animal, which is nice. I do not have enemies that I know of. There is that persnickety jelly that comes through, but he is just mean. My friends are all from fish to sharks. I eat the fish then the fish eat the seagrass and plankton, then the bacterium eats dirt. So that is how I am on the food chain. My niche is by being a filter feeder. I help by making there less crustaceans in the water. I am very endangered and in the area of exaction. What has made me angry was how people just take my relatives and take them somewhere that they are not comfortable with. They also have no licence to take us out of our homes.But what makes me so happy is to see how hard australia works to protect us from you. Here are some lovely links to more facts.

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