Dugongs are related to manatees and are similar in appearance and behaviour— though the dugong’s tail is fluked like a whale’s. Both are related to the elephant but are not at all similar in appearance or behaviour. Dugongs graze on sea grass, rooting them with their bristled, sensitive snouts and chomping them with their rough lips. They stay underwater for six minutes before surfacing.
These animals make an easy target and they were long sought for their meat, oil, skin, bones, and teeth. Dugongs are now legally protected throughout their range, but their populations are still in a tenuous state.
Why not take a look at our ‘Dive & Stay’ and ‘Liveaboard’ adventures where you can encounter this animal by clicking on the tabs on the left.