manatees and dugong n.
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Manatees and Dugong

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  1. Manatees and Dugong • Sirenians (order Sirenia) include the manatees and dugong • Sirenians, also known as sea cows, have a pair of front flippers, but no rear limbs • Swim with up-and-down strokes of their paddle- (manatee) or V- (dugong) shaped tails • Closest land relative is the elephant!

  2. Manatees

  3. The Florida Manatee

  4. Dugong

  5. Manatees and Dugong • Sirenians are the only herbivorous marine mammals; feed on aquatic plants and algae • Some species live in fresh and/or brackish water • Inhabit temperate or subtropical waters • Severely threatened by motor boat collisions, harmful algal blooms, pollution, and severe winters

  6. Stellar’s Sea Cow (the sirenian you’ll never see) • The Stellar Sea Cow was a large, herbivorous marine mammal formerly abundant in the North Pacific • Described by naturalist Wilheim Stellar in 1741; hunted to extinction within 27 years of discovery! • 8 meters long • Fed on kelp • Did otter hunting play a role?