Dugongs vs. Manatees

Difference Between dugongs and manatees

What is the difference between dugongs and manatees?

Both Dugongs and Manatees are animals that come from the sea. They do resemble each other in appearance but each is different in their own way. People may know both animals but the nickname Sea Cow.

The Dugong is typically found in the seas close Africa and the Pacific. The tail of the Dugong does resemble that of the dolphin. These animals feed only on sea grass and are one of the few Sirenian sea animals that are found in saltwater. As babies, Dugongs can be found with a cream colour but as they grow and mature into adults their colour changes to a dark grey.

The Manatee does have a similar physique as the Dugong; both animals have a fusiform physique. The Manatee does not have the flute-like tail found on the Dugong; they instead have a tail that resembles a paddle. These animals tend to stay in fresh water and can be found in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. The Manatee feeds primarily on plants and is unable to survive in water temperatures that dip below fifteen degrees Celsius.

In conclusion, the Dugongs and the Manatees are cousins which explain why they do have similarities in appearance and body form. Both animals originate from Sirenia. Both the Dugong and the Manatee can be found in saltwater but it is the Manatee that prefers to migrate to the locations of freshwater.


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