Once mistaken for mermaids, dugongs weigh nearly half a ton, munch through 40 kilograms of sea grass daily and reproduce every three to seven years. They are not sexually mature until they reach the age of 17 and there are just 11,000 left in Great Barrier Reef region. These rare grazers of the sea grass beds were once abundant but have had a difficult relationship with people. Nowadays they are trapped accidentally in nets and traditionally they suffered from hunting for their delectable meat.
Despite this there are still more dugongs in Australian waters than any other place on earth.