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Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach Welcomes Rare Baby Sea Dragons and Spotted Eagle Ray Pup

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (March 4, 2015) – Ripley’s® Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is pleased to welcome two baby weedy sea dragons—a rare phenomenon in captivity. The sea dragons were introduced to the public earlier this month.

Sea dragons, a “near threatened” species native to the southern coast of Australia and Tasmania, are some of the most ornately camouflaged creatures on the planet. Leaf-shaped appendages cover their entire body to help them blend in with the seaweed and kelp they live amongst. Sea dragon babies are unusual because the female transfers her eggs to the male’s tail, where they are fertilized and protected until they hatch. What makes this a rare and special event is that only nine aquarium facilities worldwide have had successful egg transfers and uptakes by a male sea dragon in captivity. Sea dragons are closely related to pipefish and seahorses, which have the benefit of carrying their eggs in a brood pouch. This provides greater protection for the developing eggs, typically resulting in the birth of as many as 300 offspring in some species. Sea dragons usually produce smaller hatches, between 100-150 offspring.

“This is a first for the Ripley’s family, and we are thrilled it happened at our Myrtle Beach location,” said Craig Atkins, General Manager, Ripley’s® Aquarium in Myrtle Beach. “The newborns, now 5-inch juveniles, are doing great, along with their proud father. Dad and one of the juveniles have been introduced into the display aquaria for guests to view.”

The babies were born in the height of Myrtle Beach’s summer season in 2014. They joined more than 300 other varieties of aquatic species at Ripley’s Aquarium, including a recently born spotted eagle ray pup—the first of its kind in South Carolina.   

Media interested in meeting the baby sea dragons, spotted eagle ray pup and/or any other additional information may contact Bethany Marshall, Director of Marketing, Ripley’s Entertainment at bmarshall@ripleys.com.

About Ripley’s® Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Ripley’s® Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is located at Broadway at the Beach, an entertainment and dining complex featuring the 85,000-square-foot Aquarium. The company’s mission is to entertain and delight visitors of all ages in a top quality marine life facility, while fostering environmental education, conservation and research.  

About Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Stretching from Little River to Pawleys Island and comprising 12 distinct communities, the Myrtle Beach area is home to 60 miles of sandy beaches, an assortment of entertainment, family attractions and world-class golf. Popularly known as the Grand Strand, the Myrtle Beach area presents the quintessential vacation experience peppered with plenty of Southern hospitality.

For additional information on the Myrtle Beach area, visit www.visitmyrtlebeach.com or call (888) Myrtle-1.

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Media Contacts:
Bethany Marshall
Director of Marketing
Ripley’s® Entertainment, Myrtle Beach
bmarshall@ripleys.com 

Erin Maggied
Fahlgren Mortine
614.383.1669
MBTeam@Fahlgren.com