Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now 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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