Food of the red sea dugong (Mammalia: Sirenia) from Sinai

Y. Lipkin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Stomach contents of four Dugong dugon were examined. Three animals were from the Gulf of Elat, and one from the western shore of the Gulf of Suez. One stomach contained three kinds of seagrass, Halodule uninervis, Syringodium isoetifolium and, to a lesser extent, Halophila stipulacea; another contained mainly Halodule uninervis with small amounts of Halophila.stipulacea and fragments of an alga (Stypopodium zonale); a third was almost exclusively composed of H. stipulacea; and the last contained almost equal amounts of H. stipulacea and Halodule uninervis, with a little Thalassodendron ciliatum and Cymodocea rotundata. The stomach contents of each· animal agreeli with the seagrass resources available where it was captured. Apparently, Red Sea dugongs prefer soft and delicate seagrasses, but are not as fastidious as suggested by the only previous detailed report on their food. The dugong's fastidiousness in general and the animal's devotion to a seagrass diet are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-98
Number of pages18
JournalIsrael Journal of Zoology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1975


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