Dugong: Marine Mammalia Dugong

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The dugong otherwise known as a “sea cow” is a majestic marine mammal with a very interesting digestive system. It is similar to a manatee and the two can sometimes be confused but they are not interchangeable. It is classified by Mammalia Sirenia Dugongidae Dugong. The dugong is found in a wide range of continents and countries mostly throughout the Pacific Ocean. It prefers warm seaside waters and can be found in over forty countries. They can be found swimming around in sea grass fields from the coasts of Africa to Australia and even around South Asia. Their main diet is as many species of sea grasses as it can find. They rarely eat anything other than sea grass but will occasionally snack on algae if needed. They are strictly herbivores as they can eat up to 110 pounds of sea grass a day. The Dugong has a fascinating mouth. Their horseshoe shaped snout is located ventrally and faced down so that they can graze easier off the ocean floor. Their lips are extremely muscular and are covered in sensitive bristles. These bristles sense the presence of sea grass and the Dugong will grasp it and begin to rip it from the ground. With their strong lips, they begin to mash and grind up their food. Dugongs only have a set of molars and premolars. They make up for their lack of teeth with internal mouth…show more content…
Dugongs also have several common accessory digestive glands which aid in helping digestion. Firstly, they have a lobulated liver. The liver in dugongs produces bile which helps aid in breaking down the fat in their diet from the sea grass. They have rather long bile ducts. They also have a lobulated pancreas. Their pancreas has two roles, exocrine and endocrine. The endocrine role of their pancreas is to produce insulin and glucagon so their blood sugar can be regulated with their diet. The exocrine role is to produce enzymes that aid in digestion such as mucous and

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