Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall charting our adventures as we sail around the world. We're sailing up and down the east coast of Australia after a summer back in Britain.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Dugong photos and facts

We're hoping that Digicel will allow us to post a few photos this morning! These were taken in Gaspard Bay last weekend as we watched the dugongs.

An adult begins a rolling dive from close to the dinghy

An adult and calf come up to breath

The Gaspard Bay anchorage
Some dugong facts from our resident marine biologist:

  • Dugongs can live for up to 70 years.
  • Their gestation period is 13-15 months
  • They have only one calf at a time and give birth  every 3-7 years
  • The mothers lactate for 14 months 
  • They have poor eyesight but good hearing
  • They locate their seagrass food via whiskers on their upper lips and pull the grass up by its roots; they manage their seagrass beds and are selective about the types of grass they'll eat.
  • Adult males (and elderly females) have tusks and will fight other males during mating. We saw a pair mating, we think, when we were anchored in Uliveo island.
  • They were once thought to be mermaids due to their shape, human-like eyes and the females having boobs; the sailors making these observations were probably a bit desperate, mind you!  

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