What Are Dugongs?

dugongs Credit: Christian Haugen/CC-BY-2.0

Dugongs are also known as seacows. They are large mammals with front flippers and tails, which they use as propellers. They live in the seas around Australia.

Dugongs swim in the shallow coastal waters near Australia, surfacing only to breathe. Dugongs and manatees look very similar, but their tails are the main distinguishing features between the two. A manatee's tail is flat, and a dugong's tail is slightly forked. Dugongs are herbivores that eat underwater grass. Females give birth to one calf once every five years. The babies stay close to the mothers until they are around two years old.