Dugongs are herbivorous mammals that live in warm waters near the shore at a depth of up to 10-20 m.
They feed on aquatic vegetation and seaweeds. They are looking for food in shallow water at a depth of 1-5 m moving along the bottom with the support of the front fins. The animals pluck vegetation with their strong upper lip. Before eating the plucked greens, the animal shakes its head to the sides, thus rinsing the food. The daily diet of one individual includes 40 kg of plants.
Eating takes up most of their monotonous lifestyle. Usually, dugongs live alone, but in feeding places, they can accumulate in small groups of up to 6 individuals. The nutrition of the animals depends on the regime of the tides.
Dugongs live in permanent places. However, when environmental conditions change, they can move to new territories. Migrations can reach hundreds and thousands of km. They depend on the level and temperature of the water, the availability of food, and human activity.
Dugongs are rather slow animals. They swim at a speed of 10 km/h, but in a stressful situation can accelerate up to 18 km/h.