Common Name: Sea Cow

Scientific Name: Dugong dugon

 

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Sirenia

Family: Dugongidae

Genius: Dugong

Species: D. dugon

The Sea cow is in the Dugongidae family, and its class is Mammalia. The sea cow reproduces sexually during the spring. The female sea cow only produces one calf per breeding. At birth, the calf is three to four feet long and weighs anywhere from sixty to seventy pounds. The calf will feed on its mom's milk for up to two years of age. When born they are a gray-black color, as they get older they will turn to a light gray color.

 

Now don't let the name fool you. It does not look like a cow. It was named sea cow by a man name Steller because of its massive weight. A full-grown sea cow can weigh up to 17,600 and that is average for a sea cow. Also, a sea cow can consume up to 100 pounds of water at one time. A sea cow's lifespan is roughly 60 years.

You are probably wondering where they live. Well, they are found in shallow coastal waters. Sometimes they are found near streams or rivers. Some live in Japan. They mostly eat sea grass and algae. The sea cow was a source of food, meat cooked similar to beef. The blubber was used for cooking and also a source of lamp oil. The thick tough skin was used for shoes and belts. I hope you learned something about sea cows because I did.

Author: Gavin G

Published: April 2006  

Sources:

http://cars.er.usgs.gov/Education/sldshw/manatee/Image4.html http://www.fws.gov/dingdarling/VisitorInformation/Calendar.htm

 

 

 

 

 

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