Dugong & Calf - Timeless Bond
Females give birth after a 13–15 month gestation, usually to just one calf. Birth occurs in very shallow water, with occasions known where the mothers were almost on the shore. As soon as the young is born the mother pushes it to the surface to take a breath. Newborns are already 1.2 metres (4 ft) long and weigh around 30 kilograms (66 lb). Once born, they stay close to their mothers, possibly to make swimming easier. The calf nurses for 14–18 months, although it begins to eat seagrasses soon after birth. A calf will only leave its mother once it has matured. When need to be nursed, calves would suck their flippers in a 'thumb sucking' fashion as observed in calves under human care.
In Australia, dugongs occur in the shallow coastal waters of northern Australia from the Queensland/New South Wales border in the east to Shark Bay on the Western Australian coast. They are also found in other parts of the Indian and Pacific Oceans in warm shallow seas in areas where seagrass is found.
Size: H26cm x L30cm