Manatees

Sea Cows

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Western Indian Manatee

Class: Mammalia
Order: Sirenia

Family: Trichechidae

Genus: Manatus
Species: Latirostris

Where oh where can my manatee be?

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HOLY SEA COW!

Manatees can be 10- 13 feet long, not only that but they can weight anywhere from 800 to 1200 pounds! With that being said we will need a large tank to hold our new friends!

These grey gentle giants have nostrils on their snout that close automatically when the submerge underwater! They also have tiny openings for ear canals are located a couple centimeters behind the eyes. Manatees are good at hearing low frequency sounds.

Manatees also have vibrassae (whiskers) that have their own nerve endings and blood supply! They also have good eye sight, they can see 10 ft underwater.

Just around the riverbend

Manatees enjoy swimming through slow moving rivers, estuaries, canals, and bays with a lot of vegetation! Usually manatees will concentrate in Florida during the winter months. If we bring manatees to our Raymond Zoo we must keep the water and environment for them very warm. Manatees have high risk of dying when their environment is too cold.
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We are Family

Manatees are closely related to elephants, aardvark, and hyrax. If you were shocked by this, you are not alone. Many people believe that manatees are in related to seals, walruses, and so on. However, that is not the case. These four animals are "subungulates" meaning they came from the ungulate group which is a hoofed animal!
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We're going to need a whole lot of plants!

Manatees are herbivores, which means they eat plants. The go for any plant in reach weather it be submerged, floating, or on a shore line. Manatees can consume a whooping 32 to 108 pounds of vegetation a day!

Manatees have molars that replace themselves! When molars begin to wear down new ones grow in the back of the mouth and gradually move forward. This cycle will happen through out their whole life.

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Oh the hue-manatee!

Naturally manatees can live up to 50 to 60 years. However, many manatees are lost to man made incidents. The most frequent being water craft accidents, which accounts for 20% of manatee deaths. As we have learned our manatee friends are slow moving, and also hard for people on boats to see. These two things combined make for a very sad scene. Along with that, flood gates can trap or crush a wandering manatee and pollution and destruction of their habitat is another reason for the decrease in their numbers. These deaths almost brought manatees to extinction, they were in the endangered category for a long time until recently they moved to threatened. This is because of a significant increase in population since 1991 (1,267 manatees to almost 6,000!).

Resources

"Top 10 Cute Manatee Kids!" Manatee Tales. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2016. <http://oceangrantimages.com/top-10-cute-manatee-kids/>.

"Animal InfoBooks: Manatees." SeaWorld. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2016. <https://seaworld.org/en/animal-info/animal-infobooks/manatee/physical-characteristics>.

"Manatees No Longer Endangered." CNN. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2016. <http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/08/living/manatee-endangered-species-feat/>.

"Journey North Manatees." Journey North Manatees. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2016. <https://www.learner.org/jnorth/tm/manatee/AdaptationsEvol.html>.