POWELL, Ohio (WCMH) — The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is preparing to welcome guests into a new aquatic habitat opening this spring.

(Courtesy Photo/Columbus Zoo and Aquarium)

The weedy seadragon habitat is open beginning April 10 in Australia and the Islands region’s Nocturnal Building and Aviary, the zoo announced on Thursday. The underwater-themed exhibit features 10-foot high murals, custom-painted artwork, and projection animation leading to an impressive 6-foot tall, 5-foot-deep and 10-foot-long weedy seadragon habitat.

“Weedy seadragons are exquisite fish, so well adapted to their environment,” said Tom Schmid, President and CEO of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. “I know that our guests and members will be excited to see them, learn about them, and understand what we all can do to help protect our oceans and seas.”

Closely related to seahorses, weedy seadragons, or “weedies,” have thin skin stretched over bony plates that look like rings around their tails and fused jaws so their mouths are like tubes, giving their heads a horse-shaped appearance. Weedies are the largest of seadragon species and grow to a foot-and-a-half long.

The Nocturnal Building and Aviary has been closed to the public since construction began on the weedy habitat began in September of 2022. In addition to visiting the weedies, guests can welcome back various bird species, binturongs, tree kangaroos, feathertail gliders and Glen the wombat.