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Dugongs (Dugong dugon) are large aquatic mammals that live in warm, shallow waters in the Southern Hemisphere from Africa to Australia. They breathe air through nostrils into their lungs, and can stay underwater for about 6 minutes. Dugongs have a life span of about 50 years in the wild. Some dugongs live alone, others live in small herds. These sirenians are closely related to manatees.

Anatomy: Dugongs range in size from about 8 to 10 feet (2.4-3 m) long and weigh from 510 to 1,100 pounds (230-500 kg). They have a streamlined body and a flat, two-pointed tail.

Diet: Dugongs are herbivores (plant-eaters) who eat sea grasses that grow on the sea bed. They rest during the day and spend most of the night eating. Dugongs have one pair of tusk-like teeth.



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