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see sireniansirenian
or sea cow,
name for a large aquatic mammal of the order Sirenia. Living sirenians are the dugong and the manatee, both found in warm, shallow waters in sheltered regions, where they feed on seaweeds and seagrasses.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Dugong dugon), an aquatic mammal, the sole representative of the genus Dugong of the order Sirenia. It normally attains a length of 2.5-3 m, with males weighing about 170 kg and females about 140 kg. The small and barely mobile head merges with the spindle-shaped trunk ending with a horizontal bilobate fin. The forelimbs are supple flippers. Of hind limbs only rudimentary pelvic bones, concealed in the muscles, remain. The coarse skin is dark leaden or brown in color and covered with sparse hairs. Both jaws have five or six molars on each side, cylindrical in form and lacking enamel; in addition, the males have two tusklike upper incisors 6-7 cm long.

The Dugong lives in the coastal waters of eastern Africa, southern Asia, the Moluccas, the Philippines, the Malay Archipelago, New Guinea, and Australia, sometimes entering the mouths of rivers. The Dugong lives in groups of three to six animals or in pairs and feeds on aquatic plant life. The female gives birth to a single offspring. It is hunted, but its numbers have greatly decreased.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a whalelike sirenian mammal, Dugong dugon, occurring in shallow tropical waters from E Africa to Australia: family Dugongidae
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
A second orphan baby dugong found stranded on a southern Thai beach has been named "handsome sea prince" by one of the country's princesses, officials said Saturday, as sea cow craze sweeps the kingdom.
Dugong, classified as critically endangered, grazes on sea grass beds and primarily depends on the health of the sea grass ecosystem.
But why were there soldiers, policemen and firemen lying in cots as blood was being taken from their arms at the Gingoog Dugong Guro, Dugong Bayani last Friday?
1) Extensive areas of seagrass beds that serve as an important fish nursery, feeding grounds for green turtles and dugongs. (Approximately 7,000km2 of seagrass habitat as of 2012)
Dugongs (Dugong dugon) are distant cousins of elephants, growing up to 3 meters and weighing about 400 kilograms (kg).
EAD, with support from TOTAL and TOTAL ABK, has been studying and monitoring the local dugong population since 1999.
2) and included shellfish, large vertebrates (dugong and turtle), small vertebrates (fish, shark, ray, bird) and European materials (metal, glass, clay pipe and ceramics).
"Depletion of turtle and dugong numbers increases their vulnerability to other threats and lowers their ability to cope with climate change," said Mariana Fuentes of the James Cook University.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) concerning the Conservation and Management of Dugongs Dugong dugon and their Habitats throughout their Range was signed by seven countries, including the United Arab Emirates, at a meeting held in Abu Dhabi in late October 2007.
A recently published report prepared for the Australian Fisheries Management Authority by dugong expert Dr Helene Marsh claims that the current harvest of dugongs, estimated at 1000 each year, by traditional inhabitants in Torres Strait Protected Zone (TSPZ) is threatening populations and suggests 100 to 200 dugongs annually is more sustainable.
''By canceling the plan to construct the air base near Henoko, you can help protect a globally important ocean ecosystem and some of the best remaining habitat for Okinawa dugong.''