By Elrika D’Souza and Vardhan Patankar Out in the wonderfully clear azure seas of the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, we embarked on a quest to study the little known animal, the dugong, commonly known as sea cow. Spending about seventy percent of their lives below the surface dugongs come into view only briefly when they rise up to breath, once every five to seven minutes; no wonder they are still shrouded in mystery! In India, dugongs inhabit waters around the 
Gulf of Kutch, Gulf of Mannar, Palk Bay and the Andaman & Nicobar archipelago. Our research has gathered new clues about a crucial part of the dugong’s life which occupies much of their time; their feeding habits in seagrass meadows. The search for answers started seven years ago when we sighted two dugongs while snorkeling around an island in Ritchie’s archipelago. We observed these two individuals closely for months and found them feeding in the same seagrass meadows through the year. They fed specifically on two species of seagrasses that were relatively small-sized and low …