Florida manatees enjoying the balmy 72 degrees Fahrenheit water at Blue Spring State Park. Photo: Robert Scott Thayer
Greetings! Today I thought it would be fun to gather some really cool manatee facts for you. You’ll definitely impress your friends and family with your newfound manatee knowledge!
Manatees are very large marine mammals with two flippers and a body tapering down to a paddle-shaped tail.
Ok – let’s put together some cool manatee trivia in the form of a Q&A session…
- What large land animal is a manatee closely related to?
That land animal is the elephant!
- What type of manatee is found in Florida?
This would be the Florida manatee! As the name suggests, the Florida manatee can be found in Florida’s coastal waters, rivers, estuaries, bays, and springs. Yours truly (Kobee Manatee) is a Florida manatee. I’m also called a West Indian Manatee!
- What manatee species is found in the Caribbean basin?
That would be the Antillean manatee! Both the Florida manatee and the Antillean manatee are very similar in size. There are only minor DNA differences between the two!
- What are the two subspecies of the West Indian Manatee?
They would be the Florida manatee and the Antillean manatee.
- Can you name all five-manatee species in the scientific order Sirenia?
The West Indian manatee, West African manatee, Amazonian manatee, Dugong, and the Steller’s Sea Cow (now extinct).
- Blue Spring State Park is located in Orange City, Florida. What manatee species is found there?
The Florida manatee!
- Why can manatees get cold stress and even die from the cold?
This is because manatees are warm-blooded and need water temperatures of at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
- True or false – In the summer months, some Florida manatees enjoy long adventures and will travel as far west as Texas and as far north as Massachusetts.
- True or false – Manatees are herbivores.
True! Manatees are herbivores because they eat only plants such as seagrass, manatee grass, and turtle grass. Additionally, a manatee can consume between ten to fifteen percent of its body weight in plants each day!
- True or false – The male manatee generally grows larger than the female manatee.
False! It is the female manatee that is usually larger than the male.
- True or false – In addition to its gills, the manatee surfaces every 5 minutes to breathe air in through its 2 nostrils.
False! Manatees do not have gills.
Stay tuned for more extraordinary manatee trivia in my next blog for you!
If you are in Florida and you see a sick or injured manatee, 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’s the Save the Manatee Club link to learn more about us manatees …
Here’s a cool link for you to learn more about how we’re rescued and brought into rehabilitation …
~ Kobee Manatee