April 16, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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Blue dragon bathing on Padre Island National Beach

A blue dragon, found by 7-year-old Hunter Lane.

Visitors to Padre Island National Seashore in Texas found a blue dragon during their trip, and although it might not be a flying creature, a fire-breathing creature suggested by their name, it was still a “rare discovery,” said the park.

Hunter Lane, a 7-year-old from Mesa, Arizona, found four dragons in a few minutes on May 2 while on vacation with her parents. His father, Trey Lane, told CNN that he had been vacationing at the beach for 30 years, and he had never seen it.

“Hunter loves sea creatures and thinks he has found the blue button jellyfish,” Trey said. “After they picked it up with beach toys, he told me he had found a new species!”

The blue dragon, or glaucus atlanticus, is a tiny sea slug – usually only 3 cm, or a little more than an inch. They can be found in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, according to non-profit conservation of Oceana.

But even though the creature was not nearly as big as a dragon, they were beating vicious blows. Blue dragons feed on Portuguese war humans, who look like large jellyfish, and store stinging cells from their prey for future use, according to Oceana. So, when humans touch this little snail, it can release stinging cells and create a sting that can hurt more than humans.

“So, if you see dragons in the park, be amazed because they are rarely found, but keep your distance!” warn national beaches.

Recently, many visitors to the beach have seen dragons, Jamie Kennedy, a park spokesman told CNN. He said the surge could be the result of a group stranded on the beach. However, in two years working on the national coast, Kennedy said he had never heard of anyone seeing them until now.

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