Animals >>

Stellers Sea Cow

Stellers Sea CowStellers Sea Cow
[Jump to Article]

Stellers Sea Cow 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
Hydrodamalis
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species
Hydrodamalis Gigas
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
8m - 9m (26ft - 30ft)
Weight:
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
8000kg (8.8tons)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for
50 - 80 years
Lifestyle:
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Herd
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
Extinct
Extinct:
When the entire species has disappeared from Earth
1758 AD
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Grey, Brown, Black
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Smooth
Favourite Food:Sea Grasses
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives
Arctic Tundra
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
1
Main Prey:Sea Grasses, Algae, Flowers
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Large sharks and humans
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to the animal
Enormous body size and toothless mouths

Stellers Sea Cow Location

Map of Stellers Sea Cow Locations

Stellers Sea Cow

The Steller's sea cow was a large marine mammal that was found in abundance in the North Pacific. These enormous animals were closely related to the dugong and the manatee still found grazing in the oceans today, but were of considerable size at between eight and nine meters in length.

The Steller's sea cow was first discovered in 1741 by explorers that ventured into parts of the Arctic Circle. When they were first recorded, the Steller's sea cow was said to be living in abundance in the North Pacific, however in less than 20 years of human contact, the Steller's sea cow had disappeared from the ocean completely.

Steller's sea cows were large herbivores that had a seal-like appearance with a tail which resembled that of a whale. The Steller's sea cow was named after George Steller who discovered the animal and who described it: "The animal never comes out on shore, but always lives in the water. Its skin is black and thick, like the bark of an old oak, its head in proportion to the body is small, it has no teeth, but only two flat white bones one above, the other below".

The Steller's sea cow was said to be a tame animal that spend most of it's time concerning itself with munching on kelp, which is possibly what made it so vulnerable later on. However, the Steller's sea cow was also said to be unable to submerge it's enormous body fully underwater making it an easy spot for human hunters.

The Steller's sea cow was a herbivorous animal that would have had a very similar diet to the dugong and manatees still extant today. This toothless animal would have spent the majority of its time grazing on kelp, sea weed and other aquatic grasses that grow in the shallows of the oceans.

Before being discovered by humans, the Steller's sea cow would have had very few predators within it's watery world. Large shark species would have been the only predators able to tackle such an enormous meal, but non were more successful at hunting this enormous sea cow than humans who wiped out the entire species in just 17 years.

The Steller's sea cow would have mated and given birth to it's calf in the water (as these marine mammals do not go onto the land). In much the same way as it's smaller cousins, the female Steller's sea cow would have given birth to a single calf after a gestation period that probably lasted well over a year. The sea cow calf would of remained with it's mother until it was strong enough to become independent.

Sadly, these remarkable giants of the sea, where wiped out by human hunters almost instantly after having been discovered by explorers. Today, it's smaller cousins are also under serious threat in their native habitats from over-hunting and increasing levels of pollution in the water.

Stellers Sea Cow Comments

Boi
"I want my own sea cow"
Ivan
"I personally prefer the subtle taste of dodos. However, nice article. An interesting read. xoxo"
William
"I hope scientists can bring it back. Is it the biggest manatee ever lived?"
Ethan
"wish they werent extinct"
Kelsey
"So sad but GREAT information. Sound like amazing animals"
Showing 5 of 7 comments.
Show More Comments

Post Comment

Please enter a nickname which you can use to identify your comment, but which others can not use to identify you. Please do not use your online usernames/handles which you use for social networking.

Article Tools

Add to Phobia Filter
Update your Stellers Sea Cow phobia filter.
Print Article
View printer friendly version of Stellers Sea Cow article.
Source/Reference Article
Learn how you can use or cite the Stellers Sea Cow article in your website content, school work and other projects.

First Published: 26th July 2010, Last Updated: 9th January 2017 [View Sources]

Sources:
1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 26 Jul 2010]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. David W. Macdonald, Oxford University Press (2010) The Encyclopedia Of Mammals [Accessed at: 26 Jul 2010]
4. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 26 Jul 2010]
5. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 26 Jul 2010]
6. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 26 Jul 2010]

Are you Safe?

Are You Safe? is an online safety campaign by A-Z-Animals.com. If something has upset you, the Are You Safe? campaign can help you to speak to someone who can help you.

Are you Safe?