Dugongs, called sea cows as well, are amazing sea mammals related to … elephants. But their common name is derived from a Malay phrase that means ‘lady of the sea’. Belive it or not but mermaids stories are inspired by dugongs.
Adult dugongs can grow to be 3-4m long and weigh up to 1000kg. Newborn calves can grow to be 1m long and weigh around 30kg.
Dugong has a long life as human. They live between 50 and 60 years. You can see the dugong age from the rings on his tusks! A dugong’s tusks are actually two elongated front teeth. These feature sharp, angled edges that protrude from their lips. However, not all dugongs have these spectacular tusks; only adult males and few older females are blessed with a pair of these enormous teeth.
A diet for dugongs
Dugongs are mostly herbivores that graze on 30kg of sea grass every day. They are known as sea cows because they require so much grass to survive. If sea grass is not available, they will eat algae, jellyfish, and shellfish. They use the sensitive bristles on their top lip to find food.
How do dugongs mate?
Dugongs have an unusual technique of mating. The animal creates something resembling a nest, which serves as a breeding location for a group of dugongs. The guys encounter one female and compete to inseminate her. Females need 13 to 15 months to give birth, and a baby dugong will stay by its mother’s side until it is 18 months old, at which point it will become independent.
How long can Dugongs maintain their breath?
Dugongs breathe in oxygen through their noses from above the surface of the water. A dugong can dive up to 33 metres to feed and hold its breath for up to 11 minutes.
Do Dugongs have excellent vision?
Dugongs have poor eyesight, but they compensate with amazing hearing. Dugongs may communicate by barking, chirping, squeaking, trilling, and making other noises that can travel across water.
Are dugongs friendly?
Dugongs are very friendly animals. But you should remember to never touch dugong, even if he is very close to you, and make for him enough space when he is going to the surface to take a breath.
where dugongs live?
Dugongs are found only in coastal waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans from east Africa to the Red Sea and Australia. You can see them in Egypt as well. Check out Dugong Marsa Alam.
Do dugongs fall asleep?
Dugongs, like many other aquatic species, such as dolphins, never sleep totally like humans. Their “sleep” is more akin to a trance or a doze in which sections of their brain rest but are never entirely unconscious.
Male dugongs grow tusks between the ages of 12 and 15, when they reach puberty. Female dugongs lack noticeable tusks. Dugongs reach sexual maturity between the ages of 9 and 15. Pregnancy can last up to a year and finishes with the birth of a calf. Female dugongs give birth every three to seven years. The mother’s attachment with her calf is particularly strong. The mother will assist the baby in reaching the surface of the water and taking its first breath.
How dugongs communicate
Dugongs communicate continually with one another through a variety of chirps, whistles, and barks that reverberate.
NoT fun fact about dugongs
The completely not fun fact about dugongs is that they are endangered species and we should be careful when we swim around them. Unfortunately the main reason for decreasing number of dugongs is human actions. Boat strikes, inadvertent capture in fishing nets and marine debris, and habitat loss due to coastal development and diminishing water quality are all human-related hazards to dugong.