Photo by USFWS Endangered Species
Greetings! Here are the final 3 of 7 very cool manatee facts for you.
5. Manatees control Buoyancy with our Lungs
Manatees have very long lungs! They run-along our spines. We can control our buoyancy by simply compressing our rib cage muscles. By doing this, we float up or down, without actually swimming. So when we sleep, we relax our rib cage muscles and this allows our lungs to fill with air. And as a result, we naturally rise to the surface to breathe again!
6. Manatees Grow New Teeth their Entire Lives
Since I am an herbivore, I spend a good amount of time each day eating seagrass and other aquatic plants. Since these plants have a good amount of sand on them, my teeth get worn down. But I don’t have to worry about a gap-toothed smile because I continuously replace my teeth! Ah – here’s where I have 1 up on you Michael Strahan. You see – the molars located in the back of my mouth move and push out the old molars in the front of my mouth. Pretty cool!
7. Humans are the Manatee’s Biggest Threat
Unfortunately, it’s true. We actually have no enemies, but humans are our biggest threat. We are killed from watercraft accidents and humans have degraded our habitat with commercial building projects on the coasts. Mr. Patrick Rose, Executive Director of the Save the Manatee Club located in Maitland, Florida states, “They’re the most docile, defenseless creature there is. Man is the only real enemy the manatees have ever had. So now it’s up to us to literally save them from ourselves.”
If you see any sick or injured manatees, please call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at: 1-888-404-FWCC. They are the folks who are responsible for rescuing us in Florida.
Here is a cool link for you to learn more about how we’re rescued and brought into rehabilitation …
~ Kobee Manatee