Sea Dragons Making Waves in California
At first, it seems to be a plant floating in the water. But look closer. What appear to be leaves on the plant are really parts of a sea creature.
With very small fins you can almost see through, the creature begins to move slowly through the water.
Little is known about sea dragons because there are only small numbers of them where they live off the coast of Australia. The sea dragon is related to the better-known sea horse.
Warming oceans and pollution are threatening the world's sea dragons. So are people taking the creatures illegally for use in medicine or to keep around the home as pets.
An aquarium in the United States has built what is believed to be one of the world's largest habitats for sea dragons. The Birch Aquarium at Scripps is part of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California in San Diego.
Aquarium officials opened a sea dragon exhibit earlier this month. They hope the show will lead to the leafy sea dragon reproducing for the first time in captivity.
Leslee Matsushige works for the aquarium. She says the sea dragon "look like something out of this world." The creatures have the ability to camouflage themselves. It is almost a trick because the sea dragon looks like a plant.
"When people see them move," she says, "you hear them say, ‘What? That's alive? Wow! That's crazy."
Scientists hope that when people come to see the captive sea dragons, they will read the signs next to the tanks where the creatures are kept. The signs give information about how to protect the sea dragons, and what can be done to make oceans healthier. This includes collecting wastes and stopping pollution from ending up in Earth's waterways.
Few aquariums have sea dragons, and there are only two kinds of them: the leafy and the weedy. Both are found only in remote areas off the southern and western coasts of Australia. Little is known about them because their populations are so small. But they only eat meat, and they have no teeth.
So far, only the weedy sea dragon, a bony fish that looks like a seaweed plant when floating, has given birth in captivity. And only a small number of times.
The Birch Aquarium's 5.5-meter-long tank has three leafy sea dragons — two males and one female — and 11 weedy sea dragons. The 20,062-liter tank is large, especially for the smaller leafy sea dragon. It grows to a length of only about 36 centimeters.
Scientists hope the large tanks will help the animals breed. Like seahorses, the male carries the young and gives birth. The aquarium is already seeing some mating behaviors, and they hope that eggs, and sea dragons, will follow soon.
I'm Anne Ball.
1.At first 起初
At first I gave him the benefit of the doubt.
2.So far 截至目前
What have you found so far?
3.see through 看穿
We see through your tricks.
4.ending up in 以...结尾
Instead of ending up in jail or in the gutter he was remarkably successful.
5.Like seahorses, the male carries the young and gives birth.
gives birth 生产；分娩
She's due to give birth at any moment.
My mother just came back to Jiangsu to give birth to me, and then returned.
6.And only a small number of times.
a small number of 小部分的；少量的
A small number of firms have ceased trading.
Only a small number of Kadare's books have been translated into English
乍一看，它形似一株漂浮在水中的植物 。但是仔细观察后，形似植物叶子的物体实际上是海洋生物的一部分 。
人们对海龙知之甚少，因为它们生活在澳大利亚海岸附近，数量稀少 。海龙与人们熟悉的海马有亲缘关系 。
海洋变暖和污染威胁着全球的海龙 。因此，人们非法捕捞这些动物用于医药或作为宠物饲养 。
美国一家水族馆建造了全球最大的海龙栖息地之一 。位于斯克里普斯的伯奇水族馆是加州大学圣地亚哥分校斯克里普斯海洋学研究所的一部分 。
本月初，水族馆官员举办了一场海龙展览 。他们希望这次展览能让叶海龙首次在养殖环境下繁殖 。
Leslee Matsushige在水族馆工作 。她说，海龙“看起来不像这个世界的生物 。”这些生物有伪装自己的能力 。因为海龙形似一株植物，几乎能够做到“以假乱真” 。
科学家们希望，当人们来观看这些被捕获的海龙时，能够阅读海龙水箱旁边的说明 。这些说明提供了如何保护海龙的信息，以及做些什么能让海洋环境更加健康 。其中包括收集垃圾以及防止污染最终进入地球水域中 。
拥有海龙的水族馆很少，并且只有两种：叶海龙和草海龙 。它们都只存活于澳大利亚南部和西部海岸的偏远地区 。因为数量稀少，人们对这种生物知之甚少 。不过，虽然没有牙齿，但它们却是肉食动物 。
到目前为止，只有草海龙在圈养状态下成功繁殖，它是一种漂浮时类似海藻的硬骨鱼 。而且只能少量多次地进行繁殖 。
伯奇水族馆5.5米长的内有三条叶海龙——两条雄性和一条雌性——以及11条草海龙 。这个容积为20,062升的水箱很大，尤其是对身型较小的叶海龙而言 。叶海龙的长度只有36厘米 。
科学家们希望巨型水箱能帮助这些生物繁殖 。就像海马一样，雄海马会孕育并诞下幼崽 。水族馆已经观察到一些交配行为，他们期待迎接海龙蛋卵和小海龙 。