The dugong (Dugong dugon) is a significant marine mammal which, along with the three types of manatee, can be one of four extant users of the order Sirenia, the only fully-aquatic herbivorous mammals. Is it doesn't only living representative of the once-diverse family members Dugongidae; the closest modern day relative, Steller's Sea Cow (Hydrodamalis gigas) was hunted to termination in the eighteenth century. It is additionally the only sirenian in its selection, which covers the marine environments of for least thirty seven countries through the Indo-Pacific, although majority of dugongs live in the northern seas of Sydney between Shark Bay and Moreton Gulf. In addition , the dugong is definitely the only strictly-marine herbivorous mammal, as all species of manatee utilize freshwater to some degree. Just like all modern day sirenians, the dugong contains a fusiform human body with no dorsal fin or hindlimbs, instead possessing paddle-like forelimbs accustomed to maneuver by itself. It is very easily distinguished in the manatees by its fluked, dolphin-like end, but as well possesses an exceptional skull and teeth. The dugong is usually heavily dependent upon seagrasses for subsistence and is also thus limited to the seaside habitats exactly where they grow, with the greatest dugong concentrations typically taking place in wide, shallow, protected areas just like bays, mangrove channels as well as the lee attributes of large inshore islands. It is snout is definitely sharply downturned, an adaptation for grazing and uprooting benthic seagrasses. The dugong has been hunted for thousands of years, typically for its various meats and petrol, although dugong hunting also has great ethnical significance through its selection. The dugong's current syndication is lowered and disjunct, and many populations are near extinction. The IUCN lists the dugong as a varieties vulnerable to termination, while the Tradition on Worldwide Trade in Endangered Varieties limits or bans the trade of derived goods based on the citizenry involved. In spite of being legally protected around the globe throughout their very own range, the main causes of inhabitants decline stay anthropogenic, and include hunting, habitat degradation, and fishing-related fatalities. With its very long lifespan and slow rate of reproduction, the dugong is especially vulnerable to these types of exploitation. Additionally , dugongs will be threatened by storms, parasites, and their organic predators, sharks, killer whales, and crocodiles.
These gigantic vegetarians can be found in warm seaside waters from East The african continent to Down under, including the Reddish colored Sea, Of india Ocean, and Pacific.
Dugongs are relevant to manatees and they are similar in features and behaviorвЂ” though the dugong's tail is usually fluked like a whale's. The two are related to the elephant, even though the giant property animal is not similar in features or tendencies.
Dugongs feed on underwater grasses night and day, rooting for these people with their bristled, sensitive snouts and chomping them with their rough lip area.
These mammals can stay underwater pertaining to six mins before surfacing. They sometimes breathe by " standing" on their tail with their minds above water.
Dugongs spend much of their period alone or in pairs, though they are really sometimes found gathered in large herds of a hundred animals.
Female dugongs have one calf after having a yearlong being pregnant, and the mother helps her young reach the surface and take its first breathing. A young dugong remains near to its mother for about 1 . 5 years, sometimes finding a riding on her wide-ranging back.
These kinds of languid animals make an easy target pertaining to coastal hunters, and they had been long sought for their meats, oil, skin, bones, and teeth. Dugongs are now legally protected through their selection, but their masse are still in a tenuous state.
Some assume that dugongs were the inspiration for historical seafaring reports of mermaids and sirens.
Average life expectancy in the wild: 70 years
Size: almost eight to 10 ft (2. 4 to 3 m)
Weight: 510 to 1, 100 lbs . (231 to 499 kg)
Group brand: Herd
Referrals: Husar, S i9000. L. 1978. Dugong dugon. Mammalian Kinds Account No . 88. American Society of Mammalogists, 7 pp.
Nowak, R. M. 1991. Master 's Mammals of the World. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.