Dugong

Where can I see the Dugong

Photo credit
Vintrom
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A Dugong is a large marine mammal that can be found in tropical and subtropical waters around the world. They are relatives of manatees and can weigh up to 1,300 pounds. Dugongs are herbivores, meaning they eat mostly plants, and they use their sharp incisors to tear seaweed from rocks below the water’s surface.

Dugongs have a difficult time breeding in captivity, so there is still much to learn about their reproductive habits. What is known is that the mothers nurse their calves for two years, and the calves stay with their mothers for about four years.

Dugongs are listed as a “vulnerable” species by the IUCN because of hunting, accidental catches in fishing gear, and habitat loss. However, they are not currently considered to be at risk of extinction.

Despite their vulnerability, dugongs are gentle giants that provide an important service to the marine ecosystem. They help keep seaweed populations in check, which in turn helps to maintain the health of coral reefs. Dugongs are also tourist attractions, and people who see them in the wild often describe them as being “magical” creatures.

Animal population
85,000
Population
IUCN Classification
Vulnerable (VU)
IUCN Classification

Discover more about the Dugong

View our gallery and watch first hand videos of where you can see the Dugong in the wild.

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Geeky Facts about the Dugong

Fact 1

They’re the only completely marine mammal that has a diet consisting solely of sea grass.

Fact 2

Dugongs are very rare to spot as they habitat in shallow or deep waters.

Fact 3

Dugongs are often referred to as “sea cows” due to their heavy, solid looking bodies.

Stories about the Dugong

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