Dugong and manatees

4 species

Dugongs and manatees are fully aquatic, herbivorous mammals that inhabit swamps, rivers, estuaries, marine wetlands, and coastal marine waters. They are commonly referred to as sea-cows or sirenians. Sirenians have a large, fusiform body that helps to reduce drag through the water. They have heavy bones that act as ballast to counteract the buoyancy of their blubber. They have a thin layer of blubber and consequently are sensitive to temperature fluctuations, which cause migrations when water temperatures dip too low. Sirenians are slow-moving, typically coasting at 8 kilometers per hour (5.0 miles per hour), but they can reach 24 kilometers per hour (15 miles per hour) in short bursts. They use their strong lips to pull out seagrasses, consuming 10-15% of their body weight per day. Sirenians typically make two- to three-minute dives, but manatees can hold their breath for up to 15 minutes while resting and dugongs up to 6 minutes. While breathing, sirenians hold just their nostrils above the surface, sometimes standing on their tails to do so.
Dugongs and manatees are fully aquatic, herbivorous mammals that inhabit swamps, rivers, estuaries, marine wetlands, and coastal marine waters. They are commonly referred to as sea-cows or sirenians. Sirenians have a large, fusiform body that helps to reduce drag through the water. They have heavy bones that act as ballast to counteract the buoyancy of their blubber. They have a thin layer of blubber and consequently are sensitive to temperature fluctuations, which cause migrations when water temperatures dip too low. Sirenians are slow-moving, typically coasting at 8 kilometers per hour (5.0 miles per hour), but they can reach 24 kilometers per hour (15 miles per hour) in short bursts. They use their strong lips to pull out seagrasses, consuming 10-15% of their body weight per day. Sirenians typically make two- to three-minute dives, but manatees can hold their breath for up to 15 minutes while resting and dugongs up to 6 minutes. While breathing, sirenians hold just their nostrils above the surface, sometimes standing on their tails to do so.