Everything you need to know about Seagrass Tales, Dugong Trails exhibition at NMoQ
Seagrass Tales, Dugong Trails, a special exhibition on the dugong (baqarat albahr) is currently underway at The National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ).
The dugong is the shy marine mammal that has inhabited the waters surrounding Qatar's peninsula for more than 7,500 years.
The exhibition takes the name Seagrass Tales, Dugong Trails from the trails that the animal leaves as it travels through seagrass meadows, an important element of the underwater ecosystem.
You will be introduced to the dugong – a sirenian (or “sea cow”) closely related to the manatee, and the last living species in the Dugongidae family, learn about its physiology and anatomy, scientific classification and evolution, and history in the region.
Dugongs typically measure more than three metres in length and can weigh up to 550 kg. They date back 50 million years, to the Tethys Sea region.
Eating all day and all night, dugongs use their heavy bones to sink down to the seafloor and their bristly snouts to detect plants and sweep them into their mouths.
While dugongs typically live alone or in small groups, traveling along the coast and grazing on up to 40kg (10% of their mass) of seagrass per day, the largest herds in the world, comprising approximately 800 dugongs coming together to breed, have been recorded in Qatar.
The exhibition highlights how the dugong has long held significance to the people of Qatar.
Historically, dugong hide was used for sandals, their tusks for Sheikh’s swords, and their oil and fat for cooking, medicine, potions, and to coat wooden boats.
For decades, the animal has inspired indigenous communities to make art and engage in scientific study.
The dugong lives in three main areas in the Gulf: the coastal area in the UAE near Murawah Island, the northwest coast of Qatar from the Zekreet peninsula and the Hawar Islands to Ras Ushayriq and offshore to Fasht Adhm, Bahrain, and the coastal region of Saudi Arabia between the UAE and Qatar.
You will have the opportunity to engage in experiential activities throughout the exhibition.
An exhibition highlight includes the installation of a dugong skeleton dating from 2012. The remarkable skeleton was recently added to the permanent collection of the National Museum, having been graciously donated by a family from Al Khor city.
The exhibition runs until September 1, 2021. You can also get to the exhibition by using Doha Metro's Gold Line: National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ) station.
Saturday to Thursday: 9:00 am to 7:00 pm
Friday: 1:30 pm to 7:00 pm
- Adult (Resident of Qatar): QAR 15
- Adult (Non-resident of Qatar): QAR 30
- Student (Resident of Qatar): Free
- Student (Non-resident of Qatar): QAR 15
- Children aged between 0-16 years old can enter the exhibition free of charge.
Are you planning to visit the exhibition soon? Let us know in the comments below.
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