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What in the World is a Dugong? Rarest Sea Cow In The World

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Along the coast of Abu Dhabi, development is spilling into the sea, smothering the sea grass beds that nourish rare marine mammals called dugongs.The Arabian Gulf is blessed with amazing marine life, including dugongs, dolphins, turtles and sharks, not to mention 500 species of fish.

source/image: National Geographic

Dugongs along with other sirenians are referred to as “sea cows” because their diet consists mainly of grasses in the sea and are the only herbivorous mammals in the sea with the characteristics of that of a cow.

source/image: National Geographic

They ingest the entire plant while eating including the roots and are mainly a docile animal that lives deep inside the sea.The Arabian Gulf hosts the world’s second largest population of dugongs, thought to number at least five thousand.

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The rich and extensive seagrass beds in the waters of the United Arab Emirates form a habitat that has been identified as the most important for dugongs in the Arabian Gulf and probably includes the majority of this population.

This species, which is thought to have given rise to the myth of the mermaid, is now threatened with extinction.Efforts have been made to protect the dugong from being hunted or killed by fishermen when the mammals are trapped in fishing nets.

VIANational Geographic
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