During her time volunteering at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, freelance science illustrator Stephanie Rozzo helped clean the seahorse exhibit. Over time, she found herself enchanted by their colors and movements. Rozzo knew she had her next illustration subject when one male began carrying eggs (as males of the species do). She rendered an expectant pair of seadragons—native Australian fish closely related to seahorses—in acrylic paint with their seaweed habitat in graphite. The work depicts the species’ life stages from embryonic fry through adulthood.
“Weedy Seadragon Life Cycle” won the Expert’s Choice award for Illustration in the 2016 Vizzies. See all 10 of the winners.
This article was originally published in the March/April 2016 issue of Popular Science, under the title “The 2016 Vizzies.”