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Dugong is a marine mammal that swims around warm tropical waters. The dugong species is a part of the Sirenia order commonly referred to as sea-cows. They are vegetarian and surprisingly are linked to long- lost relatives of elephants.
See the fact file below for more information on the dugong or alternatively, you can download our 25-page Dugong worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Dugong comes from the word of dugung in Visayan language. It was popularized by a French naturalist, Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon after he discovered the animal from the island of Leyte in the Philippines.
- Because of its stocky figure, many people also call Dugong as “sea-cow,” “sea pig,” and ” sea camel.”
- The dugong is known for its torpedo-shaped body, with triangular fins and flippers like a whale.
- Dugong can grow until the length of 4 meters and weighing up to 420 kg. Female dugongs are usually larger than males.
- Most of the dugongs have grey hairless skin, but their color may change. Some dugongs can have a greenish tint because of the algae growing on their surface.
- Male dugongs and female dugongs have slight differences in their appearance. Male ones have short tusks, which they use to engage in fights and declaring threats. The females usually do not have visible tusks.
- Dugongs have a unique upper lip that is designed for chewing the seagrass easily.
- Dugongs mostly live in the sea, unlike manatees that live in the freshwater area.
- The coast of Australia typically becomes the home to the largest population of dugong.
- They used to inhabit shallow waters, with an average depth of around 10 m. These shallow areas generally can be found in full mangrove channels and protected bays.
- Since they love swimming in shallow waters with plenty of sunlight, the majority of dugong groups can be found in several locations near the equator areas.
- Dugongs live a very long life. If they’re living in a safe place and have enough food sources, the dugong can survive up to 70 years.
- Dugongs are mostly herbivores. They eat seagrass as their main diet, with algae and jellyfish for the occasional feeds.
- Dugongs usually swim in small groups or alone. Because they live in shallow waters, they can use their tails to stand when going to the surface to breathe air.
- Not all dugong populations show the same behaviors. During the mating season, male dugongs used to secure the territory from other males or enter into battle for breeding rights to make the female ones come to him to breed.
- A female dugong gives birth to a single calf after 13-15 months of gestation. When the calf is born, the mother dugong will help the baby to surface for its first breath. The mother then will nurse its baby for 18 months or longer.
- Dugongs typically breed every three to seven years. The female dugongs averagely spend about 6 years with their calf, or until the calf reaches maturity.
- Dugongs use various sounds to communicate with their peers. They often use barks, chirps, squeaks, and thrills.
- Dugongs are heavy eaters. They can eat a large amount of sea plants and often leave feeding trails behind uprooted seagrass.
- They’re also full of surprises. While dugongs are usually known as slow swimmers, they can accelerate to 14 miles per hour when needed.
- Dugong populations are continually decreasing. They’re considered as vulnerable species because many people like to hunt them for their meat, oil, and bones for sugar refining.
- Unlike dolphins, sea lions, and orca whale, dugongs have not been domesticated. Taking care of dugongs would require a huge tank since they only eat seagrass, and growing seagrass in the aquarium can be quite difficult.
- It is a common legend that dugongs and manatees have inspired people to create stories about mermaids.
- Dugongs are a distant relative to the elephant. The scientists believe that dugongs come from a long evolution of an elephant-like creature that entered into water.
- Dugongs breathe using the lungs. Every six minutes they reach the surface to breathe oxygen.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the dugong across 25 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Dugong worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the dugong which is a marine mammal that swims around warm tropical waters. The dugong species is a part of the Sirenia order commonly referred to as sea-cows. They are vegetarian and surprisingly are linked to long- lost relatives of elephants.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Dugong’s Facts
- What’s up, Dugong?
- Dugong vs Manatees
- Observe the Dugong
- Let’s Count Up!
- Sea the Dugong’s Friends!
- Keeping up with the Sirenia
- Ocean’s Protector
- True or Myth?
- Build your Ocean
- Anatomy Check
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Link will appear as Dugong Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, May 7, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.