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The new images showed the seadragon's intense red colour and revealed its habitat is very different from the algal reefs occupied by its relatives.The first recorded specimen of the uniquely adorned creature washed up on Cottesloe Beach in 1919 and was until now thought to be a common seadragon, which has yellow and purple hues.
Common and leafy seadragons cannot bend their tails, which raises questions about the evolution of tails in this group of organisms, according to the researchers. Western Australia has such a diverse range of habitats, and each one is deserving of attention,' Nerida Wilson, Western Australian Museum, a co-author of the study said.
Common and leafy seadragons cannot bend their tails.
The ruby seadragon is only the third kind of seadragon ever recorded, the other being the instantly recognisable leafy seadragon, which has a green and orange hue.
Through DNA sampling technology and research linking it to other specimens, it was shown in 2015 to be a new species.
The new images showed another striking difference, the ruby seadragon does not have leaf-like appendages that camouflage its fellow seadragons.