In this episode, “Enchanting El Nido” is taking you underwater and face-to-face with our very own gentle giant of the ocean, the dugong.
The dugong (Dugong dugon) is the only herbivorous marine mammal in the Philippines. Dugongs can reach up to 3 meters in length and weigh up to 499 kilograms. On the average, dugongs on the wild live for 70 years. They can be found in the warm coastal waters of East Africa to Australia, including the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and the Pacific Ocean.
Dugongs are also called “sea cows” because they graze on seagrass found in coastal areas. They can stay underwater for six minutes before surfacing. They have two nostrils on the end of their snouts that enable them to breathe without showing their entire body above the water. They are slate-gray on the back and slightly lighter on the belly, with paddle-shaped flippers and generally smooth skin with short hairs. Dugongs also have a notched tail similar to dolphin, unlike their manatee cousin that has a round, paddle-like tail.
Lagen Island Resort Environmental Officer
Dr. Mark Erdmann
(shot in Cagbatang, El Nido)
El Nido Resorts
El Nido, Palawan, Philippines