Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Creature Feature #179: Dugong

The Dugong is a gentle ocean dweller, quite closer related to the elephant. It is thought that she inspired early tales of  mermaids, for her tendency to stand upright in the water. She is often referred to as the Sea Cow, named for her tendency to graze on sea grasses. Her hind limbs have been modified into a divided tail fluke, like that of a dolphin, and which she uses to manouvere herself languidly through the water. She had been greatly exploited in the past, hunted significantly throughout her range and now suffers under the fishing industry. She is long-lived - can live for over 70 years - and a slow breeder, and like too many animals, is suffering from population decline.

No comments: