What is a Sea Cow in Ocean? Facts, Food and their Diet

Manatees and dugongs are appreciatively nicknamed “sea cows” because of their grass-eating tendencies and slow nature. Sea Cow are often seen swimming beautifully with their powerful tails and freaking out.

But did you know that sea cows may have inspired many sailors’ tales of sirens, life, and fertility within the ocean? 

History Channel reported that during Christopher Columbus’ first trip to the Americas, his company recorded a sighting of three mermaids in the waters surrounding the island of Haiti. He reported seeing these mermaids rise from the sea near his route. Later it was discovered that these mythical mermaids were most likely manatees.

What do they look like?

Sea Cow are thought to have developed from four-legged land mammals more than 60 million years ago, their nearest relative outside of dugongs being the elephant. There are three different manatee species:

  • The Amazonian manatee 
  • The American or West Indian manatee 
  • The African manatee 
sea cow

Sea Cows are usually gray-brown with a flat, paddle-shaped tail, two flippers, and a whiskered nose. All manatees, except the Amazonian manatee, have vestigial toenails, appendages generated useless over evolution and reminiscent of the hoofs they once had as land animals. Despite having small eyes and no exterior ear structures, manatees have reasonably good sight and hearing.

Their excellent membrane covers their eyes and sizable inner ear bones. Also notable about manatees is their lack of seventh-neck vertebrae, which means they can’t turn their charge without shifting their whole body. The moderate lifespan of a manatee is around 40 years, in which they can produce between eight and thirteen feet.

Where They Live in the Ocean?

Comparable to their species name, manatees are found in distinctive features of the world. The Amazonian manatees attach to the Amazon River, the African manatee lives along the west sands of Africa, and the American or West Indian manatee is found on the east shore from Florida to Brazil. However, of what part of the world they are found in, manatees tend to stay in surface waters since they must resurface for air.

 Sea Cow

A resting manatee can remain immersed for up to 15 minutes, but when active, it must resurface every three or four minutes. Manatees usually swim alone or in couples but can form small companies, called entireties, during mating season or if there’s a massive dinner of grass.

Dugongs live in the nearshore waters of East Africa to Australia, with most residents residing in northern Australian waters. They prefer surface, friendly areas with high engagements of sea grass and are rarely found in rivers, unlike manatees. Dugongs are usually smeared alone or in pairs but can gather in large packs of nearly a hundred. The equivalent pregnancy time for a dugong is unknown, but it’s calculated at a year. Likewise to manatees, dugongs give birth to their youth in the nearshore waters, where the calves float to the surface for their first drag.

Their Food to live in Ocean

Sea Cows are herbivores and possess molars to graze on aquatic plants. At sea, Sea Cows like seagrass and munch on freshwater vegetation in rivers. Because manufacturers have lower nutritional value, manatees must provide for six to eight hours daily, finishing around 10-15% of their body weight. Sea Cow have also produced a lower metabolic speed allowing them to use 25% less power than other mammals of their length. Since Sea Cow are so enormous and slow-moving, they are worthless against speed boat accidents, crowded waters, and feeling traps.


Sea Cow are herbivores and have a matching diet to manatees. Dugongs have between ten to fourteen teeth and a horny place on their lip and palate to uproot vegetation quickly. Some algae and the periodic crab have been identified in the belly of a dugong, but their stomachs are moderately straightforward and have a hard time summarizing.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) details manatees and dugongs Sea Cows as helpless, with some subspecies of manatees as threatened. We must share the ocean with these beautiful creatures as we guide a rapidly transforming ocean topography.

 Sea Cow

Because they cannot prevail in the cold, manatees and dugongs must make the demanding journey toward more warm water each year. Craft walkouts are one of the biggest dangers during migration.

To support the sea cows, when boating, they still follow published pace zones and go slowly in surface waters where they tend to rest, feed, and emigrate. Monitor for signs, and never hurl trash, garbage, or fishing rope overboard.

If you live inland, you can benefit by choosing the debris that could end up in beach and ocean waters. Paying a few extra minutes to wash up your surroundings at the back of your beach visit can help manatees for a lifetime. The most significant way you can support yourself is always to be obedient. If you are fortunate enough to visit a Sea Cow( manatee or dugong) in the wild, never bother them. Respecting from afar is most uncontroversial for you and the animals.

How many teeth do manatees have?

Manatees Sea Cow only have molars, with about 24-32 in their mouth at a time. Due to their abrasive sea plant diet, the teeth get frayed down and finally fall out, so manatees Sea Cows constantly produce new teeth that get moved forward to return the ones they lose.

Instead of having eye teeth to get their food, manatees use their prehensile lips like a pair of hands to help pull eats away from the seafloor and into their jaws. 


Sea Cow (Manatees and dugongs) are slow creatures that act like sea cows. They are not amphibians because they lay hard-shelled eggs. Turtles are not amphibians either because they are reptiles. The only animals that are amphibians are salamanders, frogs, and toads.

Amphibians are animals that start their lives in water, but as they mature, they live on land. The only water amphibians are frogs and toads. Reptiles are land animals that are cold-blooded and lay eggs.