Greetings! Manatee season recently ended here in Florida. But that’s not stopping me from continuing the awesome manatee fun! Here’s a quick rundown on 11 marvelous manatee facts!
- Manatees are Marine Mammals
Manatees and dugongs are marine mammals. Marine means we live our entire life in the water and mammal means we breathe air just like humans breathe air. And in Florida, the manatee is the State Marine Mammal!
- Enjoy the trip
Manatees enjoy traveling at 2 to 5 miles per hour. However, on an adventure, they can travel up to 20 miles per hour in short bursts!
- Where’s the fat?
Manatees are large and they look very fat. However, they have only trace amounts of fat! It is their rib cages that are large. The only exception to this is the Steller’s Sea Cow, where this species had approximately 4 inches of fat under its skin to protect it from the cold waters off of Alaska.
- The Manatee, the Elephant and the Hyrax?
Manatees look like a mix of a hippopotamus and a seal. However, manatees are actually related to the elephant and the hyrax, which looks like a small gopher.
- The Vibrissae on Manatees
Manatees have hair on their upper and lower lips, which are known as vibrissae. These vibrissae help manatees sense the environment around them.
- Buoyancy and Manatees
Manatees surface, dive and float in the water because they have very long diaphragms and lungs. Their lungs hold large amounts of air, which help control their buoyancy.
- No Natural Enemies
Manatees have no natural enemies. That’s right, not even a shark or alligator! It’s sad to say that humans are their only enemy because manatees often get hit by watercraft as they surface for air.
- Manatees enjoy several types of seagrass
Their favorite seagrasses include; turtle grass, manatee grass, and shoal grass. They also eat water lettuce.
- Manatee Communication
Manatees talk to each other with squeaks and chirps. In fact, the female manatee can communicate with her calf using a personal chirp. If the calf is swimming to far away, the mother will tell her calf to come back to her with a specific chirp.
- Just playing around
The manatee loves doing somersaults and swimming upside down. It’s not a bad life being a manatee!
- How long does a manatee live?
Manatees in the wild generally live to the age of 30. However, Snooty the Manatee who lived at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, Florida lived to the age of 69!
Stay tuned for more manatee knowledge challenges in my future blogs!
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’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
Manatee Facts – Knowledge Challenge 1 (October 3, 2019)