Dugong Facts That Are Often Mistaken as Mermaids

 Dugong found dead stranded on Cat Island, Polman, shocked many people. There are still many who do not know well, this animal that is often mistaken for a mermaid.

Dugong does have another name, namely mermaid. But this creature is not at all in the form of a mermaid as depicted in fairy tales.

"Dugongs are marine mammals whose food is seagrass. This animal is very often associated with fairy tales or legends about mermaids, which are usually shown as a half-fish human figure with the head of a beautiful girl with long hair up to the waist and a fish at the bottom. down to the tail," said LIPI Oceanologist Anugerah Nontji as quoted from his book 'Dugong Not a Mermaid'.

He wrote that at first the dugong was widespread in tropical and subtropical waters in the Indo-Pacific region. But now, its distribution is getting smaller. By the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the dugong is declared "vulnerable to extinction".

In Indonesia, many coastal waters that were once known to be inhabited by dugongs, are now unheard of. The sad thing is, recently a fisherman found a dugong stranded around Cat Island, Binuang District, Polewali Mandar Regency. When found on Wednesday (17/11), the dugong was dead and rotting.

The following are facts about dugongs, we have summarized from various sources.

1. Longevity

Dugong is classified as an animal with a high life expectancy. Age can reach 70 years. The dugong is different from other mammals, such as the orangutan, whose age range is only 35-45 years.

2. Big

Dugong is one of the animals with a fairly large body size. Its body length can reach 3 meters and weighs up to 450 kg. Dugongs have a pair of forelimbs that resemble flippers for balance and for swimming along the sea. In addition, the dugong's eyes are very small and can produce tears.

3. Plant eater

Dugong is a herbivorous mammal with the main food in the form of seaweed. Dugongs usually eat seaweed at a depth of 1 - 5 meters. These mammals must eat at least 50 kg of seaweed every day. Dugong is categorized as a nocturnal animal or a nocturnal animal that only looks for food at night.

4. Dugong Reproductive System

Dugong reproductive organs have matured at the age of 9-10 years. However, in some cases, reproductive maturity occurs only at the age of 15 years. Dugong gestation period lasts for 12-14 months. Dugongs usually give birth to their young in shallow water to avoid predators such as sharks.

Dugong chicks live with their mother until the age of about 1.5 years. Dugong mother will not get pregnant for 2.5 to 7 years. With low reproductive rates, dugong populations remain vulnerable to extinction.

5. Dugong Habitat

Based on the Shark Bay Marine Park survey, Western Australia is the largest habitat and home for the dugong population. There are at least 10,000 dugongs in the waters of Western Australia and about 80,000 in all Australian waters. In addition, dugong habitats also include the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, and the Pacific Ocean.

Dugong Facts That Are Often Mistaken as Mermaids Dugong Facts That Are Often Mistaken as Mermaids Reviewed by thecekodok on 7:53:00 AM Rating: 5
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