Other Free Encyclopedias » Animal Life Resource » Mammals » Dugong and Sea Cow: Dugongidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Steller's Sea Cow (hydrodamalis Gigas): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, SEA COWS DUGONGS AND PEOPLE

Dugong and Sea Cow: Dugongidae - Steller's Sea Cow (hydrodamalis Gigas): Species Accounts

lived waters hunted coastal

Physical characteristics: Steller's sea cow was 23 to 33 feet (7 to 10 meters) long and weighed anywhere from 9,920 to 13,000 pounds (4,500 to 5,900 kilograms). The tail resembled that of a whale. The sea cow had a small head and no teeth.


Geographic range: Unlike other sirenians (sye-REEN-ee-unz) that prefer warm water, Steller's sea cow lived in frigid waters in the northwestern Pacific Ocean.


Habitat: Steller's sea cow lived in coastal waters where kelp grew.


Diet: The sea cow ate kelp by crushing it with studded plates located at the front of its mouth, on both the upper and lower jaw.


Behavior and reproduction: Steller's sea cow lived in coastal waters but reportedly had some affinity, preference, for the mouths of freshwater creeks as well. Steller's sea cow did not migrate, but could

Steller's sea cow was hunted to extinction within thirty years of its discovery. (Illustration by Wendy Baker. Reproduced by permission.)

be found near islands year-round. Very little is known about this mammal's reproductive behavior.


Steller's sea cow and people: Steller's sea cow was a source of meat for sailors. Within the span of three decades, it was hunted to extinction.


Conservation status: Steller's sea cow is Extinct. ∎

Dugong and Sea Cow: Dugongidae - Dugong (dugong Dugon): Species Accounts [next] [back] Dugong and Sea Cow: Dugongidae - Conservation Status

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