Dugongs (Dugong dugon) are marine mammals that grow to lengths of up to three meters and weigh as much as 400 kilograms. Dugongs are also known as 'sea cows' because they feed on sea grass and the roots of aquatic plants in sheltered coastal waters. Dugongs have a fluked tail that enables them to swim. They have front flippers that they use to steer as they swim slowly through the water.
Their head is round and they have small eyes and nostrils at the top of their broad snout. Bristles located on their upper lip help them locate food. Their eyesight is limited but they have keen hearing. Dugongs can live as long as seventy years. They have a low breeding rate and on average females bear a single calf at intervals of 3 to 7 years during their reproductive years.
Dugongs usually feed at night in coastal waters, rarely venturing out into open sea or into estuaries and rivers.
Coastal waters. Avoids open sea and does not venture into estuaries and rivers. Coastal tropical waters, throughout the Indo-Pacific region.