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A couple of days ago I had the great luck to swim with a Dugong in the Red Sea, Egypt. The dugong is a medium-sized marine mammal. It is one of four living species of the order Sirenia, which also includes three species of manatees. The dugong is the only strictly marine herbivorous mammal. The dugong is easily distinguished from the manatees by its fluked, dolphin-like tail, but also possesses a unique skull and teeth. Its snout is sharply downturned, an adaptation for feeding in benthic seagrass communities. The molar teeth are simple and peg-like unlike the more elaborate molar dentition of manatees.
Dugongs are found in warm coastal waters from the western Pacific Ocean to the eastern coast of Africa, they are generally found in warm waters around the coast with large numbers concentrated in wide and shallow protected bays.

Ivan Aivazovsky (1817-1900)
“Passage of the Jews through the Red Sea” (1891)
Oil on canvas
Romanticism
Currently in a private collection