STELLER’S SEA COW – Hydrodamalis gigas

STELLERS SEA COW

Steller’s sea cow facts: Steller’s sea cow was 23 to 33 feet (7 to 10 meters) long and weighed anywhere from 9,920 to 13,000 pounds (4,500 to 5,900 kilograms). The tail resembled that of a whale. The sea cow had a small head and no teeth.

Geographic range: Unlike other sirenians (sye-REEN-ee-unz) that prefer warm water, Steller’s sea cow lived in frigid waters in the northwestern Pacific Ocean.

Steller’s sea cow habitat: Steller’s sea cow lived in coastal waters where kelp grew.

What does steller’s sea cow eat: The sea cow ate kelp by crushing it with studded plates located at the front of its mouth, on both the upper and lower jaw.

Behavior and reproduction: Steller’s sea cow lived in coastal waters but reportedly had some affinity, preference, for the mouths of freshwater creeks as well. Steller’s sea cow did not migrate, but could be found near islands year-round. Very little is known about this mammal’s reproductive behavior.

Steller’s sea cow and people: Steller’s sea cow was a source of meat for sailors. Within the span of three decades, it was hunted to extinction.

Conservation status: Steller’s sea cow is Extinct.