Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford

Sirenia Navigation

  • Murry Burgess
  • Kristine O. EvansEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_1332-1



The behaviors of members of order Sirenia that allow them to interpret, move, and survive in their environment.


Species in order Sirenia are the only fully aquatic, herbivorous marine mammals. This order is comprised of sea cows, the extant species being the dugong (Dugong dugon) and three species of manatee (genus Trichechus). All species of dugongs and manatees are currently listed as vulnerable with a declining population trend. Sirenia inhabit coastal wetlands, coastal marine waters, rivers, freshwater lakes, and estuaries. They feed on sea grass and other bottom-dwelling marine vegetation. These sea creatures navigate throughout their home ranges to find food, seek mates, and escape predators. Species in temperate climates migrate long distances towards warm waters during winter.

Navigation is the capability of assessing position and being able to move in a specific route...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and AquacultureMississippi State UniversityMississippi StateUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Mystera M. Samuelson
    • 1
  1. 1.The Institute for Marine Mammal StudiesGulfportUSA