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Dugong

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Published on Aug 29, 2006

He is cute, munching away at the seagrass and coming up for air every few minutes.

The dugong, or seacow, is related to the manatee that is found in Florida and the Amazon. You can easily tell them apart by the shape of the tail, the dugong's tail is forked.

This particular dugong is a major tourist attraction in Abu Dabab, I counted as many as 50 snorkelers and 14 divers with it at a time. With people constantly shouting "Dugongo, dugongo!" across the water and zodiacs popping into the bay to drop divers off at 10 meters from its location, it is amazing this creature does not get annoyed and move to a neighbouring bay. It remains relatively undisturbed for now. Probably the fact that the dugong does not scare easily is one of the reasons the species are nearly extinct - and maybe because the meat is supposed to be pretty good.

Filmed while snorkeling in Abu Dabab bay, Marsa Alam, Egyptian Red Sea, using a Fuji F30.

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