Cover image for Manatees and dugongs of the world
Manatees and dugongs of the world
Ripple, Jeff, 1963-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Stillwater, MN : Voyageur Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
144 unnumbered pages : illustrations (some color), color maps ; 29 cm
General Note:
"Worldlife discovery guides."
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library QL737.S6 R56 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize
Hamburg Library QL737.S6 R56 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Orchard Park Library QL737.S6 R56 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Details the natural history of the four living species of sirenian, plus the extinct Stellar's Sea cow. Also devotes chapters to sirens in myth and tradition and to the protection of the sirenian.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The increasingly popular manatees and their lesser-known relatives the dugongs form the wonderfully named order of mammals called Sirenia (as they are thought to be the basis for the mermaidlike Sirens of Homer's Odyssey). The three species of manatee and one species of dugong are all endangered, and the fifth member of the order, Steller's sea cow, is extinct. This new survey of the sirenians is therefore very timely as scientists race to study these animals before human impact drives them all to extinction. Five chapters explore sirenian biology in general, manatees and dugongs (including Steller's sea cow) specifically, the myths and local traditions surrounding these animals, and conservation. As slow-moving, shallow-water herbivores that grow to be quite large, sirenians have always been hunted for their meat, and they now face the increasing problem of collisions with fast-moving pleasure watercraft. The book's plea for the conservation of these well-loved but seldom seen animals is greatly strengthened by the beautiful photographs that help sell its message of caring for and preserving these homely animals. --Nancy Bent

School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up-Ripple's text is clear, readable, and packed with enough scientific data and conservation information to satisfy the needs of even insatiable fact collectors. Liberally enhanced by large, clear, full-color photos, the book is an excellent introduction to the four living types of sirenians, and also includes what information is known about the extinct Steller's sea cow. Subjects include the evolution of these specialized mammals, their habitats, social behavior, anatomy, diet, communication, and the pressures of human activities on their very existence. Ponderous, placid, and homely, sirenians have neither the charm of dolphins, nor the stately enormousness of whales, but are in as much danger of extinction as other aquatic mammals. The author covers measures being taken to protect these fragile populations. Range maps are included, as are guidelines for protecting these creatures, addresses of organizations involved in their conservation, and an extensive bibliography of scientific reports and journal articles. A useful, attractive volume on a timely topic.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Ancient mariners who were denied for months or years the company of women may be excused for confusing sea cows--large, plump, but hardly cuddly mammals--with mermaids. However, the actual structure, behavior, and overall biology of these animals is more interesting than their mythology. Many North Americans are familiar with manatees, the sea cows native to the southeast, especially Florida, but their close relatives in the Caribbean and Central and South America are less well known, and the related forms from the Indo-Pacific, the dugongs, are surely, at best, a word used in answer to a crossword puzzle. Ripple's brief but information-rich resource discusses anatomy, physiology, diet, social and mating behavior, and mortality factors, this latter especially important because these relatives of elephants are being decimated by human activities ranging from hunting, elimination of their native habitats, and pollution of the waters in which they live, to slashing of their bodies by spinning propellers of motor boats. There is a section on the enormous (25 feet long) but extinct Steller's sea cow from the northwest Pacific islands, discovered around 1740 and quickly hunted to extinction. Numerous, often full-page, color photographs are a major element of the volume. A welcome addition to the library. All levels. D. Bardack; emeritus, University of Illinois at Chicago

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