Facts About Manatees

  • The manatee is an amazing creature, and there are lots of great facts about it to learn about them!
  • Many stories that circulate about seeing mermaids are in fact sightings of manatees in the water.
  • There are three species of the manatee, and all of them are considered to be endangered.
  • The manatee is very vulnerable to disease.
  • Boating accidents are responsible for a high number of manatee injuries and deaths annually.
  • There are laws in all countries to protect manatees but they aren’t well enforced in most locations.
  • Manatees tend to live in the warmer waters and in shallow water. The largest numbers of them are around the Gulf of Mexico and parts of Africa.
  • The earliest found fossil remains are over 45 million years old.
  • SeaWorld in California and Florida offer a great habitat for the manatees in captivity for learning and for helping injured creatures to have time to heal.Facts About Manatees
  • There are over 60 different types of plants that the manatee will eat. What they have access to depends on where they live. They are herbivores as they only eat plants.
  • Daily, a manatee will consume approximately 10% of its  body weight. This ranges from 35 to 100 pounds of plants per day!
  • They use their flippers and their split lip design to allow them to manipulate the handling of the vegetation they will consume.
  • Manatees don’t swallow their food whole but many people think that they do because of how large they are. Once it is in their mouth, they push it to the back and the molars grind it up prior to swallowing.
  • Manatees need to have access to fresh water for drinking. However, some of the species require such access more frequently than others.
  • The manatee doesn’t have much fat reserve at all, but the overall design of their body does give the impression that they do. Their round features are the result of their stomach and intestinal tract.
  • The Amazon species of manatee has a slower metabolism than the others. As a result, it can fast for a couple of months during the dry season rather than having to migrate to a location to find more food.
  • The weight of an adult manatee is from 440 to 1,200 pounds. It depends on the gender, species, and location. They can be from 9 to 14 feet long. The females tend to be longer and heavier than the males.
  • A newborn manatee weighs about 66 pounds at birth.
  • The eyelids of the manatee are very interesting as they close in a circular motion.
  • They rely on the back molars to grind up the food they consume. They have the ability for new teeth to grow in the back and push forward others as others fallout from the aging process.
  • The intestinal tract of the manatee is longer than other animals that are similar in overall size. It is about 45 meters long.
  • Sometimes, a manatee will appear to be greenish in color instead of brown or gray. This is due to the amount of algae that may be on their body as the move through their natural habitat. It isn’t really a coloration of their skin as it appears to be.
  • The Amazonian species is the only one that doesn’t have fingernail like elements at the tips of their flippers.
  • The manatee is able to successfully use their flippers for touching and even to embrace each other similar to how humans hug each other.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AN-FvPGHZs4

  • The hind limbs are absent on the manatee. However, they are internal around the pelvis region.
  • The nostrils of the manatee automatically close when they go under the water.
  • There aren’t any external ears, but they do have openings behind the eyes that lead to the ear canal.
  • The body is covered with thin hairs but they aren’t typically something a person sees unless they are up close to a manatee.
  • They are able to stay submerged under water for approximately 15 minutes before they must surface for air.
  • They are excellent swimmers.
  • Due to the high social needs that the manatee has, they don’t live alone. They may be seen alone though foraging for food before returning to the group. The groups are small with usually no more than 6-8 members. It is often that they are seen in pairs and that allows them to create very in depth relationships. However, they can congregate in groups of 200 or more during migration.
  • The males are called bulls, females are called cows, and the offspring are called calves. The males are ready to mate when they are about 9 or 10 years of age. The females are ready to mate at about 3 years of age.
  • After mating, it takes approximately 1 year before the calf arrives. It will nurse for a period of time ranging from 1 year to 18 months.