Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

Newly discovered seadragon

The Ruby seadragon. Source: Western Australian Museum.

Andrew Darby, ‘Meet Ruby, Australia’s newly discovered seadragon’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 18 February 2015

Say hello to Ruby, the seadragon that until recently no one knew existed.

A bright red, black-eyed bony beauty, it is only the third species of these peculiar Australian marine creatures ever discovered.

‘It is a sign of how much more there may be to find in shallow and deeper waters of Australia.’

All the time, it was drifting right under scientists’ noses.

The ruby seadragon is believed to live in dark waters beyond normal scuba diving depth, and so escaped attention, unlike its relatives, the leafy and weedy seadragons.

Josefin Stiller, a marine biologist at Scripps Institution in California, led research that first uncovered the ruby seadragon, and described it as a new species of “mesmerising beauty” in the journal Royal Society Open Science.

The discovery of the first new seadragon species in 150 years was “highly unexpected,” Ms Stiller said.

Teasing out the genetics of the two better-known species, she was sent a tissue sample from a Western Australian Museum specimen, thought to be a common seadragon, but found to have clearly different DNA.

Ms Stiller, her Scripps colleague Greg Rouse, and the Western Australian Museum’s Nerida Wilson then checked on the actual specimen, which had been trawled off the Recherche Archipelago in WA in 2007.

Read more

Council of Australasian Museum Directors, c/o Ms Daryl Karp, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House PO Box 3934 Manuka, Australian Capital Territory 2603 Australia, © CAMD 2020
Disclaimer: The content of this website is provided for information purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. No claim is made as to the accuracy or authenticity of the content of the website. The Council of Australasian Museum Directors does not accept any liability to any person for the information or advice (or the use of such information or advice) which is provided on this website. The information on our website is provided on the basis that all persons accessing the site undertake responsibility for assessing the relevance and accuracy of its content. No responsibility is taken for any information or services which may appear on any linked web sites. Hostgator.
.