Is a dugong a mermaid?
It might seem strange to confuse a slow-moving, blubbery sea cow with a beautiful, fish-tailed maiden. Yet it’s a common enough mistake that the scientific name for manatees and dugongs is Sirenia, a name reminiscent of mythical mermaids. Even today there are false mermaid sightings.
Why are dugongs mistaken for mermaids?
Or they may surface with some strands of seaweed covering their heads, appearing like long – albeit green – hair. These characteristics may have led to these animals being mistaken for mermaids.
What is the closest animal to a mermaid?
The manatee is a sirenian—an order of aquatic mammals that includes three species of manatees and their Pacific cousin, the dugong. The ocean’s largest herbivore, sirenians are also notable as the creatures that have long fueled mermaid myths and legend across cultures.
What is the myths associated with dugong?
Dugongs, marine mammals from the order sirenia, are said to have once lured female-starved sailors, giving rise to the mermaid myth. “Its been passed down through folklore,” explains Stacy Ong, an aquarist at the Sydney Aquarium where dugongs have been on display in the Mermaid Lagoon exhibit since December.
Is dugong same as manatee?
Dugongs (Dugong dugong) are closely related to manatees and are the fourth species under the order sirenia. Unlike manatees, dugongs have a fluked tail, similar to a whale’s, and a large snout with an upper lip that protrudes over their mouth and bristles instead of whiskers.
Did Christopher Columbus find mermaids?
On this day in 1493, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, sailing near the Dominican Republic, sees three “mermaids”–in reality manatees–and describes them as “not half as beautiful as they are painted.” Six months earlier, Columbus (1451-1506) set off from Spain across the Atlantic Ocean with the Nina, Pinta and …