What kind of animal is a dugong? Explanation of characteristics, ecology, and habitat


What kind of animal is a dugong? We will explain its characteristics, ecology, and habitat. The dugong is a mammal distributed in the Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific Ocean, and this species is the only member of the dugong family. However, despite their vast habitat, their numbers are very small and they are in a critical situation.

What is a dugong? About basic status

Dugongs are mammals classified in the genus Dugong, family Dugongidae, order Dugongales. English is Dugong, scientific name is Dugong dugon. The body length is 3 meters and the weight is 450 kg. The list of information is as follows. Dugongs are also said to be “model mermaids”. Even in Pokemon, there is a monster called Dugong.

scientific name(学名)Dugong dugon
classification(分類)Mammalia、Sirenia、 Dugongidae、Dugong 

About classification

The dugong is a mammal distributed in the Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific Ocean, and this species is the only member of the dugong family.

About habitat

Dugongs can be found in the Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and even the Red Sea. It can also be seen around Okinawa in the Philippines and Japan.

feature is? What kind of creature is it?

The dugong has a spindle-shaped body with a very thick upper lip and a flat, rounded tip. The ear holes are small, and so are the eyes. The forelimbs are fin-like and have no claws, and the hind limbs are degenerated. Hair grows sparsely all over the body, and the body color is gray, brown, or bluish gray. Dugongs live in areas with coral reefs and can dive to depths of more than 35 meters.

What is your personality like?

Dugongs have a very calm personality. However, they are also very sensitive animals and have exceptional hearing, which allows them to detect enemies.

What is the ecology like?

Dugongs are herbivorous and subsist mainly on seaweed such as eelgrass. There is no fixed breeding season, and the gestation period is 13 months. They can give birth to one cub at a time. Both males and females reach sexual maturity as early as 6 years. They have a very long lifespan, with some living for over 50 years, and some can live up to 70 years.

Are there any natural enemies?

Dugongs’ natural enemy is sharks. Killer whales are also very large prey. Looking at a lot of research and survey data, there is a possibility of extinction because there is no defense against these things.

Is the dugong an endangered species?

The dugong is an endangered species (red list) animal. The meat is edible and is considered extremely delicious, so it is widely hunted. Furthermore, marine pollution and the resulting decline in seaweed, which is their food source, are also having a major impact. In Japan, it was designated as a national natural monument in 1972, and since 2003, capturing and killing it has been prohibited under the Wildlife Protection Act. Dugong is also listed in Appendix I of CITES, so international trade is severely restricted.

Can dugongs be kept as pets?

Dugongs live in extremely harsh conditions, making it extremely difficult to keep them in captivity. We recommend viewing it at an aquarium.


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