Have you ever heard of this word Dugong? Any guesses you want to make before you start reading… let me tell you, this is definitely not a place in Andaman(if that helps) . …….. Alright lets not bother you too much and reveal the mystery. Dugong is a medium sized marine animal which is also called the Sea Cow or Sea Pig which happens to be the State Animal of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The word “dugong” derives from the Tagalog term dugong which was in turn adopted from the Malay duyung, both meaning “lady of the sea”.
- The Dugong is the only strictly marine herbivorous mammal
It mainly survives on sea grass and other aquatic vegetation
- Dugong is distributed in shallow tropical waters in Indo-Pacific Region.
- The animal is about three-metre length and weighs about 400 kg.
The dugong has a fusiform body with no dorsal fin or hind limbs. The forelimbs or flippers are paddle-like.
- The dugong is easily distinguished from the manatees by its fluked, dolphin-like tail, but also possesses a unique skull and teeth. Its snout is sharply downturned, an adaptation for feeding in benthic seagrass communities. The molar teeth are simple and peg-like
- The dugong is hunted for its meat and oil.
- The IUCN lists the dugong as a species vulnerable to extinction, while the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species limits or bans the trade of derived products
- It has a long lifespan of 70 years or more, and slow rate of reproduction, one of the major reasons for dugongs more vulnerable to extinction
- In India Dugong is reported from Gulf of Kutch, Gulf of Mannar, Palk Bay and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Within A&N Islands Dugong has been reported from Ritchie”s Archipelago, North Reef, Little Andaman and parts of Nicobars
Personally I have never seen one in real back home except for the pictures and its model in the museum.
There you go, a new information (if you didn’t know about it earlier) to be added as part of #atozchallenge 🙂 . What is your State/Country animal? Ever heard about Dugong before, let me know in the comments if your place also has some endangered species like these.
Happy Blogging !!! Live.Love.Laugh !!!