It was nice just now following up on this sweet video when I looked to see how long they do stay submerged. Apparently it's generally two to three minutes but they've been known to stay longer (depending on how delicious a particular patch of sea grass may be). The wiki said they often stand on their tails to take a breath. Lovely beasts.
They say that dugongs and manatees might have been the inspiration for tales of mermaids and sirens. This is pretty funny. Oh what rum and isolation will do to a sailor! Still, they are lovely in their way. And the pictures I've seen of dugongs standing on their tales are pretty fetching.
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