Thursday, April 26, 2012


The skipper of the boat was very keen for us to see at least one dugong -
and I was keen to see one as well as I have never seen one before. The
dugong is a large grey mammal with a paddle-life flipper, fluked tail and
portly body. They measure about three metres and weigh up to 450 kilograms.
It resembles an overweight dolphin. I understand that it is closely related
to the elephant and looks a little like a hippopotamus.

We were very fortunate to see three different dugong. They were hard to
photograph because they mainly stay under water eating the seagrass on the
sea floor but do come up briefly for air when they put their snout only out
of the water. They like warm reasonably shallow waters and are found in the
Shark Bay area.

The skipper of the boat thought that the ones we saw were male and between
400 and 500 kilograms in weight. They were swimming on their own, away from
each other, and also away from the dolphins.

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