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DUGONG

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Originally appearing in Volume V08, Page 649 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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DUGONG, one of the two existing generic representatives of the Sirenia, or herbivorous aquatic mammals. Dugongs are distinguished from their cousins the manatis by the presence in the upper jaw of the male of a pair of large tusks, which in the female are arrested in their growth, and remain concealed. There are never more than five molar teeth on each side of either jaw, or twenty in all, and these are flat on the grinding surface. The flippers are unprovided with nails, and the tail is broad, and differs from that of the manati in being crescent-shaped instead of rounded. The bones are hard and firm, and take a polish equal to that of ivory. Dugongs frequent the shallow waters of the tropical seas, extending from the east coast of Africa north of the mouth of the Zambezi, along the shores of the Indian, Malayan and Australian seas, where they may be seen basking on the surface of the water, or browsing on submarine pastures of seaweed, for which the thick obtuse lips and truncated snout pre-eminently fit them. They are gregarious, feeding in large numbers in localities where they are not often disturbed. The female produces a single young one at a birth, and is remarkable for the great affection it shows for its offspring, so that when the young dugong is caught there is no difficulty in capturing the mother. Three species—the Indian dugong (Halicore dugong), the Red Sea dugong (H. tabernaculi) and the Australian dugong (H. australis)—are commonly recognized. The first is abundant along the shores of the Indian Ocean, and is captured in large numbers by the Malays, who esteem its flesh a great delicacy; the lean portions, especially of young specimens, are regarded by Europeans as excellent eating. It is generally taken by spearing, the main object of the hunter being to raise the tail out of the water, when the animal becomes perfectly powerless. It seldom attains a length of more than 8 or 10 ft. The Australian dugong is a larger species, attaining sometimes a length of 15 ft.; it occurs along the Australian coast from The Dugong. Moreton Bay to Cape.York, and is highly valued by the natives, who hunt it with spears, and gorge themselves with its flesh, when they are fortunate enough to secure a carcase. Of late years the oil obtained from the blubber of this species has been largely used in Australia as a substitute for cod-liver oil. It • does not contain iodine, but is said to possess all the therapeutic qualities of cod-liver oil without its nauseous taste. A full-grown dugong yields from ro to 12 gallons of oil, and this forms in cold weather a thick mass, and requires to be melted before a fire previous to being used. The flesh of the Australian dugong is easy of digestion, the muscular fibre when fresh resembling beef, and when salted having the flavour of bacon. In the earliest Australian dugong-fishery natives were employed to harpoon these animals, which soon, however, became too wary • to allow themselves to be approached near enough for this purpose, and the harpoon was abandoned for the net. The latter is spread at night, and in its meshes dugongs are caught in considerable numbers. (R. L.*) DUGUAY-TROUIN, RENE (1673–1736), French sea captain, belonged to a well-known family of merchants and sea captains of St Malo. He was born at St Maio on the loth of June 1673. He was originally intended for the church, and studied with that view at Rennes and Caen; but on the breaking out of the war with England and Holland in 1689 he went to sea in a privateer owned by his family. During the first three months.his courage was tried by a violent tempest, an imminent shipwreck, the boarding of an English ship, and the threatened destruction of his own vessel by fire. The following year, as a volunteer in a vessel of 28 guns, he was present in a bloody combat with an English fleet of five merchant vessels. The courage he then showed was so remarkable that in 1691, at the age of eighteen, his family gave him a corsair of 14 guns; and having been thrown by a tempest on the coast of Ireland, he burned two English ships in the river Limerick. In 1694 his vessel of 40 guns was captured by the English, and, being taken prisoner, he was confined in the castle of Plymouth. He escaped, according to his own account, by the help of a pretty shopwoman and her lover, a French refugee in the English service. He then obtained command of a vessel of 48 guns, and made a capture of English vessels on the Irish coast. In 1696 he made a brilliant capture of Dutch vessels, and the king hearing an account of the affair gave him a commission as capitaine de fregate (commander) in the royal navy. In 1704–1705 he desolated the coasts of England. In 1706 he was raised to the rank of captain of a vessel of the line. In 1707 he was made chevalier of the order of St Louis, and captured off the Lizard the greater part of an English convoy of troops and munitions bound for Portugal. His most glorious action was the capture in 1711 of Rio Janeiro, on which he imposed a heavy contribution. In 1715 he was made chef d'escadre, the rank which in the French navy answered to the English commodore, and in 1728 commander of the order of St Louis and lieutenant general des armees navales. In 1731 he commanded a squadron for the protection of French commerce in the Levant. He died on the 27th of September 1736. See his own Memoires (174o) ; and J. Poulain, Duguay-Trouin (1882). DU GUESCLIN, BERTRAND (c. 1320-1380), constable of France, the most famous French warrior of his age, was born of an ancient but undistinguished family at the castle of La Motte-Broons (Dinan). The date of his birth is doubtful, the authorities varying between 1311 and 1324. The name is spelt in various ways in contemporary records, e.g. Claquin, Klesquin, Guescquin, Glayaquin, &c. The familiar form is found on his monument at St Denis, and in some legal documents of the time. In his boyhood Bertrand was a dull learner, spending his time in open-air sports and exercises, and could never read or write. He was remarkable for ugliness, and was an object of aversion to his parents. He first made himself a name as a soldier at the tournament held at Rennes in 1338 to celebrate the marriage of Charles of Blois with Jeanne de Penthievre, at which he unseated the most famous competitors. In the war which followed between Charles of Blois and John de Montfort, for thepossession of the duchy of Brittany, he served his apprenticeship as a soldier (1341). As he was not a great baron with a body of vassals at his command, he put himself at the head of a band of adventurers, and fought on the side of Charles and of France. He distinguished himself by a brilliant action at the siege of Vannes in 1342; and after that he disappears from history for some years. In 1354, having shortly before been made a knight, he was sent into England with the lords of Brittany to treat for the ransom of Charles of Blois, who had been defeated and captured by the English in 1347. When Rennes and Dinan were attacked by the duke of Lancaster in 1356, Du Guesclin fought continuously against the English, and at this time he engaged in a celebrated duel with Sir Thomas Canterbury. He finally forced his way with provisions and reinforcements into Rennes, which he successfully defended till June 1357i when the siege was raised in pursuance of the truce of Bordeaux. For this service he was rewarded with the lordship of Pontorson. Shortly afterwards he passed into the service of France, and greatly distinguished himself at the siege of Melun (r359), being, however, taken prisoner a little later by Sir Robert Knollys. In 1360, 1361 and 1362 he was continually in the field, being again made prisoner in 136o. In 1364 he married, but was soon again in the field, this time against the king of Navarre. In May 1364 he won an important victory over the Navarrese at Cocherel, and took the famous Captal de Buch prisoner. He had previously been made lord of La Roche-Tesson (1361) and chamberlain (1364); he was now made count of Longueville and lieutenant of Normandy. Shortly afterwards, in aiding Charles of Blois, Du Guesclin was taken prisoner by Sir John Chandos at the battle of Auray, in which Charles was killed. The close of the general war, however, had released great numbers of mercenaries (the great companies) from control, and, as they began to play the part of brigands in France, it was necessary to get rid of them. Du Guesclin was ransomed for 1o0,000 crowns, and was charged to lead them out of France. He marched with them into Spain, supported Henry of Trastamara against Pedro the Cruel, set the former upon the throne of Castile (1366), and was made constable of Castile and count of Trastamara. In the following year he was defeated and captured by the Black Prince, ally of Pedro, at Navarette, but was soon released for a heavy ransom. Once more he fought for Henry, won the battle of Montiel (1369), reinstated him on the throne, and was created duke of Molinas. In May 1370, at the command of Charles V., who named him constable of France, he returned to France. War had just been declared against England, and Du Guesclin was called to take part in it. For nearly ten years he was engaged in fighting against the English in the south and the west of France, recovering from them the provinces of Poitou, Guienne and Auvergne, and thus powerfully contributing to the establishment of a united France. In 1373, when the duke of Brittany sought English aid against a threatened invasion by Charles V., Du Guesclin was sent at the head of a powerful army to seize the duchy, which he did; and two years later he frustrated the attempt of the duke with an English army to recover it. Finding in 1379 that the king entertained suspicions of his fidelity to him, he resolved to give up his constable's sword and retire to Spain. His resolution was at first proof against remonstrance; but ultimately he received back the sword, and continued in the service of France. In 138o he was sent into Languedoc to suppress disturbances and brigandage, provoked by the harsh government of the duke of Anjou. His first act was to lay siege to the fortress of Chateauneuf-Randon, but on the eve of its surrender the constable died on the 13th of July 1380. His remains were interred, by order of the king, in the church of St Denis. Du Guesclin lost his first wife in 1371, and married a second in 1373, but he left no legitimate children. See biography by D. F. Jamison (Charleston, 1863), which was translated into French (1866) by order of Marshal Count Randon, minister of war; also S. Luce, Histoire de B. du Guesclin (Paris, 1876).
End of Article: DUGONG
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