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Sunday, 13 March 2016

Manatee

BEHAVIOR

Manatees are born underwater and the mothers help their calves to the surface for their first breath.

Baby manatees begin to nibble on plants within a few weeks of birth but will nurse from there mothers for two years.

Manatees never leave the water but must come to the surface to breathe. They breathe through their nostrils.

Manatees are typically very slow animals, but can swim up to 20 mph.


Wild manatees typically live into their 50s, but boats and environmental hazards often cut their lives even shorter.


ANATOMY

Manatees cannot turn their heads sideways because they only have six vertebrae in their neck.

Manatees don't have eyelashes, instead their eyes close in a circular motion.


A manatee has the smallest brain of all mammals in relation to its body mass.

DIET

Manatees can munch on food for almost half a day. They can be found in shallow coastal areas and rivers where their diet consist of water grasses, weeds, and algae. This makes them the only aquatic mammal that is an herbivore.



Weighing up to 1,200 pounds, manatees can eat up to ten percent of their body weight in plant mass daily. That would be like a human eating about 15 lbs of food in one day.

The two separate parts of the manatee's lips can move independently from each other to grab food.

CONSERVATION

Manatees have no natural predators but are still in peril due to watercraft accidents and loss of habitat.

Born on July 21, 1948 after his pregnant mother was captured and brought to the Miami Aquarium and Tackle Company, Snooty the Manatee was believed to be the first manatee born in captivity. He was also the oldest known manatee and lived at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton. Snooty passed away following an accident, a day after celebrating his 69th birthday. on July 22, 2017.

Snooty at 63

Manatees are the state marine mammal of Florida. It is illegal under federal and Florida law to injure or harm a manatee. They are classified as "endangered" by both the state and the federal governments.

Sources Globalanimal.org, Chinatopix.com

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