Dugongs at Sydney Aquarium

by John on October 27, 2009

aquarium-dugong.jpgThought to be the mythical mermaids of the sea by long ago pirates and sailors, Dugongs are now on the threatened list due to loss of sea grass and water pollution. Luckily for us, Sydney Aquarium now has a pair of Dugongs that have taken over the old seal tank, where you can watch these fasinating creatures eat and play close up.

Once you see a Dugong, it is hard to imagine how the old time sailors mistook these gentle creatures for women who were half fish and half human. With long gray bodies and a tail fin, their shape is more like a torpedo, which is ideal for gliding smootly through the water to find their favorite food. Dugongs look more like a cross between a seal and a dolphin. Certainly no resemblance to a beautiful women like mermaids are depicted.

In the Aquarium, you have the opportunity to see their peculiar heads, especially their mouth and the hairs around the mouth, which are used for holding sea grass. Beneath the water in the walk through tank, you are presented to the Dugongs from each and every angle, giving you a fabulous personal observation of these large and wonderful sea creatures.

Dugongs are mammals and need to breathe on the surface regularly, which gives viewing Dugong’s in the walk through tank a special treat as they often swim above your head. Almost 3 meters in length and 300 to 400 kilos in weight, they are imposing creatures, yet you can see the gentleness that they possess.

The Dugongs of the Sydney Aquarium add just another reason why you should make a visit when you are next in Sydney. Located on Darling Harbour, the Sydney Aquarium is arguably one of the most popular attractions to visit, right up there with the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

There are many attractions within the Aquarium and the Dugongs are proving to be as popular with visitors as are the fearsome sharks. Put the Dugongs down on your list of must do activities or things to see while in Sydney, as they really are amazing.


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