Fun facts about Manatee
Interesting facts about Manatee
Manatees are large, slow-moving marine mammals. There are three species of manatee that inhabit the coastal areas and rivers of the CaribbeanSea, the Amazon Basin, and West Africa. 

  • They feed almost exclusively on seagrasses and freshwater vegetation. Since manatees are found in areas where vegetation is flourishing, they often serve as indicator species for the health of ecosystems.

  •  Manatees continually replace their teeth throughout their lifetime. In order to successfully digest large amounts of vegetation, a manatee’s intestines can be 150 ft (46 m) long. On average, manatees must come up for air every five minutes, but when resting, they can hold their breath for up to 20 minutes.

  • Manatees usually move slowly and gracefully through the water. Algae and barnacles are often found on their backs. 

  • They spend most of their time eating, resting, and traveling. Manatees migrate throughout the year. 

  • The West Indian Manatee is well known for inhabiting Florida during the winter. This species prefers waters above 68 degrees F (20 C), otherwise, they may die of cold stress. Manatees typically become reproductively mature at five years of age. Females will have one calf every 2 to 5 years after a 13-month gestation period.

  • Young nurse their mothers for one or two years. Some adults can reach 13 ft (4 m)long and live up to 60 years. They have no natural predators. 

Manatees are considered vulnerable to extinction. They face a variety of human threats, such as collisions with watercraft, loss of habitat, and ingestion of litter. The closest living relatives to manatees are elephants.