Did you know there are three varieties on the manatee theme? There’s the Amazonian from South America, the West Indian species and the African manatee. The African manatee lives in warm salt and fresh waters along the coast, which brings us to the Red Sea.
So meet the manatee, also more familiarly known as the dugong in the Red Sea region in Egypt. It conjures up visions of a prehistoric sea cow. It’s large. It’s big. It’s lazy. It’s slow. But it’s also oh so peaceful, sweet and absolutely not aggressive.
The dugong doesn’t have any real enemies. Urban legend has it there are no crocodiles in the Red Sea because they have too much respecct for the dugong. It’s a fascinating to see a dugong hovering over beds of seagrass in slow-motion. Because that’s where you will find dugongs, where seagrass beds and patches are present in abundance. Mind you, our greyish marine herbivores aren’t short of daily absorbing some 50 kilograms of aquatic vegetation, such as sea plants and grass, for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
One of the best places to spot dugongs in the wild and their natural environment is at Ab Dabbab Beach in Marsa Alam. As plump and chubby as the dugong may seem, it effortlessly glides through the waters of Abu Dabbab Beach. The majority of Red Sea dugong sightings have been in shallow sheltered waters off the coast at Abu Dabbab. You are likely to have a fair chance spotting them when you go out on a guided snorkeling trip with a zodiac from Abu Dabbab Beach.
Dugongs can stay under water for a short period of time but they rely on oxygen to breathe. This is why it surfaces every three to five minutes , but not when it is enjoying her beauty sleep, usually lasting some twenty minutes.
A fully grown dugong measures some four metres in length and can weigh up to almost 600 kilos.
The manatee is not related to any other marine animals. Their closest living relatives is the elephant
Dugongs never go on land, but, like other sea mammals, they rely on oxygen to breathe
Dugongs are als known as sea cows. Is it because they move slowly and eat sea grass?.
Dugongs are able to shed their teeth and grow new ones throughout their lives