We manatees have been on the planet for a very long time. In fact, our fossils have been found all around the world. But it is both Florida and the Caribbean that have evidence of us dating back some 50 million years!
I’m a West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus). The West Indian Manatee includes two subspecies, the Florida manatee, (T.m. latirostris) aka me! The other subspecies is the Antillean manatee, (T.m. manatus). I’m also related to the Amazonian manatee, the dugong, and the Steller’s sea cow, which unfortunately was hunted to extinction in 1768. It lived in the Bering Sea near Siberia and was the largest of all manatees. It had an average length of 25 feet and weighed over 5 tons! Today, our average length is about 10 feet and we weigh between 800 to 1,200 pounds. So we’re still the size of a small car!
~Your friend, Kobee Manatee