To listen to this article, please select Control + Shift + Z to launch the pop-up player.

Browser out-of-date!

You are using an out-of-date web browser, to avoid problems when using A-Z Animals and other sites we strongly recommend you upgrade to the latest version of your web browser!
Get Firefox Get Google Chrome Get Opera Get Microsoft Internet Explorer Get Apple Safari
Remove Advertising
A-Z Animals - Animal Facts, Images and Resources A-Z Animals - Animal Facts, Images and Resources A-Z Animals - Animal Facts, Images and Resources

Animals >>

Dugong


 Add to Phobia Filter  Contribute  Print  Listen
Dugong
Dugong
Dugong
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.

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.

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.

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.


Dugong Comments (17)

Anonymous

"Not very helpful I want to know the physical adaptation and the behavioural adaptation"

bonnie

"i loved it ! it was so helpful thank you soooooo much"

jj

"you don't have enery interesting facts or life cycle so it was helpful but not fully helpful "

Showing 3 of 17 comments.

Show More Comments

Post Comment

Your Name:

Article Rating:

Your Comment:



Dugong Translations

Catalan Català
Dugong
 
Danish Dansk
Dygong
 
German Deutsch
Dugong
 
English English
Dugong
 
Esperanto Esperanto
Dugongo
 
Spanish Español
Dugong dugon
 
Finnish Suomi
Dugongi
 
French Français
Dugong
 
Hebrew עִבְרִית
תחש המשכן
 
Hungarian Magyar
Dugong
 
Italian Italiano
Dugong dugon
 
Japanese 日本語
ジュゴン
 
Latin Latina
Dugon
 
Maltese bil-Malti
Dugongu
 
Dutch Nederlands
Doejong
 
Norwegian Norsk
Dugong
 
Polish Polski
Diugoń
 
Portuguese Português
Dugongo
 
Swedish Svenska
Dugonger
 
Turkish Türkçe
Dugong
 
Vietnamese Tiếng Việt
Bò biển
 
Chinese 中文
儒艮
 

Article Tools

Print Article
View printer friendly version of Dugong article.
 
Listen to Article
Listen to audio version of Dugong article. Hot key: CTRL key + Shift key + Z key

Dugong Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things...
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom...
Chordata
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum...
Mammalia
Order:
A group of animals within a class...
Sirenia
Family:
A group of animals within an order...
Dugongidae
Genus:
A group of animals within a family...
Dugong
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species...
Dugong Dugon
Type:
The animal group that the species belongs to...
Mammal
Diet:
What kind of foods the animal eats...
Herbivore
Size (L):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is...
2.7m - 3m (8.9ft - 9.8ft)
Weight:
The measurement of how heavy the animal is...
150kg - 400kg (330lbs - 880lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal...
22km/h (13mph)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for...
50 - 70 years
Lifestyle:
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable...
Solitary
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct...
Threatened
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings...
Brown, Grey
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal...
Leather
Favourite Food:Sea Grass
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives...
Warmer tropical waters and sea grass forests
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once...
1
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from...
Sea Grass. Algae, Flowers
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal...
Human, Sharks, Crocodile
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to the animal...
Large body size and forked tail

Related Animals

ManateeManatee
Also known as the Sea Cow!
African Forest ElephantAfrican Forest Elephant
The largest known mammal on land!
Asian ElephantAsian Elephant
Domesticated for hundreds of years!
ElephantElephant
Spends around 22 hours a day eating!