While new animals are regularly identified, all species of seadragons were thought to be known. Indeed, it has been 150 years since all were classified. A surprise was on hand for Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Western Australia Museum. A new type of seadragon was found off the WA coast.
A sample had been in a lab untested since 2007. The latest DNA testing system enables new kinds of creatures to be singled out. Named Phyllopteryx dewysea, the new seadragon is bright red in color. This is an ideal color for camouflage in deep water.
No one expected a new type, so it remained undetected until the new technique made 5,000 X-ray slices of the sample. The Ruby Seadragon has a distinct skeletal structure. It increases the number of known seadragon species by 50 per cent, because there were only two other kinds of this mysterious animal previously.
✴ Technology by Ty Buchanan ✴