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Marine life

  • Dolphins

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    Latin Name: Cetacea

    There are more than 40 species of dolphin in the world and the two most common species found around Sir Bani Yas Island are the bottlenose dolphin (Tursips spp) and humpback dolphin (Sousa spp)

    Both types of marine animals frequent the waters around the islands and often bottlenose and humpback dolphins can be spotted playing in the water between Sir Bani Yas Island and the mainland.

    Quick Facts

    Weight : 230 - 400 kg
    Height : 2.4 4 m
    Native to : All oceans except the polar regions
    What they eat : Fish; crustaceans and squid 
    Interesting fact : Dolphins have sharp eyesight but they make use of echo location (sonar) to assist them in their search for food. They can consume up to 30 pounds fish per day
  • Dugong

    Latin Name: Dugong dugong

    Ever dreamed of seeing Dugongs up close and personal? Well, the stunning waters surrounding the Desert Islands have some of the emirate's largest populations of these odd looking but beautiful marine mammals. Dugongs frequent the waters around the islands and can be spotted in the water between Sir Bani Yas Island and the mainland.

    Quick Facts

    Weight : 230 - 400 kg
    Height : 2.4 - 3 m
    Native to : Africa; the warm coastal waters of the Arabian Gulf and the warm coastal water of the western pacific ocean
    What they eat : Sea grass
    Interesting fact : Dugong is strictly a marine species as opposed to the manatee (its closest relative who sometimes goes into freshwater bodies as well. In the UAE they are also known as sea cows.
  • Sea Turtles

    Latin Name: Chelonioidea

    Of the seven species of sea turtles in the world, we are lucky enough to have four of them in the waters around the Desert Islands. These are the green turtle (Chelonia mydas), the hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) and the massive leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea). While three of these Sea Turtle species are observed in the waters on almost a daily basis, you may be in luck and spot a huge leatherback turtle, which can grow to close to three metres in length and weigh almost 1,000 kg. All four of these incredible turtle species are classified as Critically Endangered by the World Conservation Union. It is therefore very important to observe these amazing animals at a safe distance to ensure they are not disturbed.

    Quick Facts

    Weight : up to 907 kg
    Height : 65-80 cm
    Native to : All oceans except the polar regions
    What they eat : Plants, sponges and jellyfish.
    Interesting fact : They’ve lived on the Earth more than 220 million years