There are newborns at Birch Aquarium!
Two weedy sea dragons, which are extremely rare, just hatched, and they are just 3/4-of-an-inch long.
"The day they did hatch out we saw one of the eggs was missing from its tail. I looked around the tank and sure enough, we found this little tiny miniature weedy sea dragon swimming around," said Leslee Matsushige, an Associate Curator who's been with the aquarium since it opened 28 years ago.
"I was jumping up and down screaming telling everyone 'Come over and check it out!' So it was really exciting," she said.
Weedy sea dragons are native to southern Australia. Many aquariums don't have them because they are hard to get and expensive.
When you do get them, it's even more difficult to breed them. Matsushige said they've been trying to for eight years.
"We try to simulate the natural environment as best we can so they feel comfortable. Typically, if an animal feels more comfortable in its habitat, there's more of a tendency to be healthier, stronger, and more willing to breed," she said.
"They're so mysterious and unique people are drawn to them," she added. "That's something we like to use to get people to understand our oceans, the diversity in our oceans, and why we need to protect our oceans."
The baby weedy sea dragons will remain behind-the-scenes and not viewable to the public because they are still too young.
All weedy sea dragons are currently off display due to a yearly habitat deep-cleaning. Their cousins, the more ornate leafy sea dragons are currently on display in Sea Dragons & Seahorses.