Animals & Wildlife Magazine

Featured Animal: Dugong

By Azanimals @azanimals
Dugong The dugong is a large marine mammal found in the warm waters surrounding Indonesia and Australia. Although the dugong can be found widely throughout the Indo-Pacific tropics, the highest population of the dugong is concentrated around northern Australia.

Dugong Although the dugong looks extremely similar to a manatee, the two are different species. The dugong and the manatee are very closely related and can look almost identical until you look at their tail. The tail of the dugong is typically forked like the tail of a shark, where the tail of the manatee is broad and flat, and slightly more flipper looking than fin looking.

Dugong
Dugongs are smaller than manatees with the average adult dugong reaching lengths of around 3 meters and weigh nearly 400 kg, which is about the same as a large cow. The front flippers of the dugong can be as much as half a meter in length.

Dugong
It is thought the legends of mermaids may have originated when sailors from a distance glimpsed dugongs swimming in the water, and mistook them for half-human half-fish creatures. These mermaid legends are also said to be true of the dugongs larger cousin, the manatee.

Dugongs inhabit the warm shallow waters, and despite their large size, dugongs are strictly herbivorous animals and have been referred to as the cows of the sea. Dugongs graze on sea grasses and aquatic plants that grow in abundance in the tropical shallows. Dugongs eat large amounts of sea plants and often leave feeding trails behind of bare sand and uprooted sea grass.

Female dugongs give birth to just one calf about once every five years. The baby dugong is born underwater in the warm shallows, where the baby dugong is immediately able to swim to the surface in order to take its first breath. When the baby dugong is born, the dugong calf is about a meter in length and weighs about 20 kg. The dugong calf will stay close to its mother until the baby dugong is about 2 years old.

Dugong populations are constantly decreasing, with many dugongs being accidental victims in large commercial fishing. Dugongs are now considered to be vulnerable animals but the dugong will commonly get older than 70 years of age. Dugong calves will not reach their full size until they are about 15 years old.


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Featured Animal: Dog

    Featured Animal:

    Dogs are thought to have been first domesticated in East Asia thousands of years ago. People primarily used dogs for guarding the hunters and areas of land. Read more

    By  Azanimals
    ANIMALS & WILDLIFE, ENVIRONMENT
  • Featured Animal: Chameleon

    Featured Animal: Chameleon

    The chameleon is a very distinctive and well-known species of lizard, due to the large eyes and curled tail of the chameleon. Chameleons are found throughout... Read more

    By  Azanimals
    ANIMALS & WILDLIFE, ENVIRONMENT
  • Featured Animal: African Penguin

    Featured Animal: African Penguin

    African Penguin Classification and Evolution The African penguin is a small to medium sized penguin species that is found along the coast of South Africa and... Read more

    By  Azanimals
    ANIMALS & WILDLIFE, ENVIRONMENT
  • Featured Animal: Echidna

    Featured Animal: Echidna

    Echidnas are known better as spiny anteaters, although they are not related to them, besides that fact that both anteaters and echidnas eat ants and termites.... Read more

    By  Azanimals
    ANIMALS & WILDLIFE, ENVIRONMENT
  • Featured Animal: Leopard Tortoise

    Featured Animal: Leopard Tortoise

    The leopard tortoise is a large species of tortoise found throughout the African savannas. The leopard tortoise is the forth largest species of tortoise in the... Read more

    By  Azanimals
    ANIMALS & WILDLIFE, ENVIRONMENT
  • Featured Animal: Tropicbird

    Featured Animal: Tropicbird

    The tropicbird is a large species of sea bird found nesting on the warmer cliffs and islands that dot our oceans. Despite having been thought to be closely... Read more

    By  Azanimals
    ANIMALS & WILDLIFE, ENVIRONMENT
  • Featured Animal: Golden Retriever

    Featured Animal: Golden Retriever

    The temperament of the Golden Retriever is a hallmark of the breed and is described in the standard as kindly, friendly and confident. Read more

    By  Azanimals
    ANIMALS & WILDLIFE, ENVIRONMENT, PETS