Manatee Scientific Classification
Manatee Physical Characteristics
Brown, Grey
50-70 years
Top speed
13 mph
400-550kg (800-1,212lbs)
Manatee Distribition

“Manatees are called sea cows. Nevertheless, they are a lot more carefully pertaining to an elephant”

Manatees are huge, grey sea animals that invest a lot of their time grazing on plants in superficial water. There are 3 various species of manatees that reside in cozy water in various locations of the globe. Manatees are animals that can evaluate as high as 1,300 extra pounds and might depend on 13 feet long. While they do not have several all-natural predators, humans are a significant danger to these animals. All 3 of the manatee species have a conservation status of vulnerable or intimidated and remain in risk of coming to be extinct if actions are not required to shield them.

An Extraordinary Animal: Manatee Truths!

  • Manatees are called sea cows since they are huge, commonly relocate gradually, and are commonly consumed by various other sea animals.
  • Manatees are animals that might eat as high as 10% to 15% of their body weight every day.
  • Because manatees do not have gills, they rest upside-down really near the surface area of the water so they’ll have the ability to take a breath while they rest.
  • Mommy manatees might registered nurse their calf bones for approximately 2 years.
  • Manatee calf bones have the ability to swim to the surface area of the water as quickly as they are birthed.

Manatee Scientific name

The scientific name for the manatee is Trichechus. Trichechus describes the family Trichechidae, which is a genus of creatures consisting of manatees.

There are 3 various manatee species. The initial of these species is the Trichechus Manatus, or the West Indian manatee. This manatee species has 2 subspecies: The Trichechus manatus latirostri s (the Florida manatee) and the Trichechus manatus manatus (the Antillean manatee).

The 2nd manatee species is the Trichechus senegalensis, or the West African manatee. And, the 3rd manatee species is the Trichechus inunguis, or the Amazonian manatee.

Manatee: The Animal’s Appearance and Habits

Manatees are huge sea animals. They can evaluate in between 880 and 1,300 extra pounds, which is much heavier than the weight of a grand piano. Many manatees are in between 8 and 10 feet long, yet some can also expand to be 13 feet long. As a whole, females are much longer and much heavier than their male equivalents. The biggest understood of these animals was 15 feet long and evaluated 1,655 extra pounds.

These animals are grey; nonetheless, they commonly have various microorganisms like algae expanding on their skin which can occasionally make them seem a lot more brownish or environment-friendly in shade.

Manatees have a really unique face. Their prehensile top lip is really adaptable. They utilize this component of their body for both collecting food and connecting with various other manatees. Their noes are likewise instead brief, adding to their conveniently identified faces.

Grownups do not have any kind of canine teeth or incisors. Rather, they have cheek teeth that commonly befall and are changed without brand-new teeth throughout their lives. There are typically no greater than 6 teeth inside a manatee’s mouth at any kind of offered time. Their eyes are fairly little contrasted to the remainder of their head and are close with each other.

To assist them swim, manatees have a big, paddle- designed tail. Unlike almost all various other creatures that have 7 cervical vertebrae, these animals just have 6 cervical vertebrae. This distinction is thought to be from anomaly in their homeotic genetics.

Manatees likewise have a straightforward tummy, yet are still able to absorb harder plant issue in their huge cecum, the bag at the start of their huge intestinal tract.

As a whole, a manatee is a singular animal that likes to live along. The exemptions to this would certainly be a mom with her children or a male looking for a companion. These animals invest regarding fifty percent of the day asleep. When they rest, they remain immersed undersea and just concern the surface area to breath (regarding every 20 mins).

When they are not resting, these animals forage for food in superficial water. While they are understood for being really slow-moving swimmers, they can swim approximately 15 miles per hr simply put ruptureds when required. Various other times, they generally swim at a price in between 3 and 5 miles per hr.

Manatee close up portrait underwater
Andrea Izzotti/Shutterstock. com

Manatee: The Animal’s Environment

The 3 species of manatees, The West Indian Manatee (likewise called the American Manatee), the African Manatee, and the Amazonian Manatee are all called for the areas where they can be discovered. For the most part, they reside in the seas, seas, and rivers around the areas for which they are called.

West Indian Manatees typically remain along the eastern coastline of the USA listed below the state of Georgia. Nevertheless, sometimes, these animals have actually been seen further north near Cape Cod, Massachusetts or New York City City, New York City. Throughout the colder months in between November and March, countless West Indian Manatees head to the Crystal River National Wild Animals Haven and various other rivers in Citrus Region, Florida. In the winter season, they can likewise commonly be seen near the warmer water made from nuclear power plant discovered along the coastlines of Florida.

Amazonian Manatees can be discovered in the Amazon River and its tributaries. This species just resides in fresh water; they are not discovered in seawater. The West African manatee can be discovered along Africa’s west coastline in between the Senegal River and the Cuanza River. West African Manatees might live as much inland as Koulikori, Mali on the Niger River. This lies 2,000 kilometers from the coastline.

Manatee Diet: What Does The Animal Eat?

Manatees eat freshwater or deep sea plants, depending upon whether they reside in freshwater or in the sea. Because they eat plants, these animals are herbivores. Several of the freshwater plants they eat consist of water lettuce, hydrilla, musk turf, drifting hyacinth, and pickerel weed. Sea yards, manatee turf, widgeon turf, sea clover, aquatic algae, and shoal turf are amongst their favored deep sea plants.

There are some manatees that will certainly eat food besides plants. The West African Manatee consumes clams sometimes and the Antillean Manatee occasionally will certainly eat fish from a web.

These animals eat a great deal. Every day, a grownup might eat in between 10% and 15% of the body weight in plants. This suggests they might eat 130 extra pounds of food every day, which is as hefty as 13 gallons of paint. To eat this much, they invest a lot of their day, approximately 7 hrs, grazing and consuming.

To collect their food, manatees scoop up plants utilizing their fins and bring it in the direction of their lips. They have unique lips, called prehensile lips, which are divided right into 2 various dimensions that can relocate individually from each other. When they bring food approximately their mouths, they make use of the randy ridges on the roofing system of their mouths together with their reduced jaws to disintegrate the plant product.

Manatee: The Animal’s Predators and Hazards

Sadly, these animals deal with several dangers. While several of these dangers are all-natural, humans present the greatest danger.

One usual danger these animals face is being struck by a ship. Most of these animals have actually been eliminated or harmed from an accident with a prop on a watercraft. Some that have actually endured this experience have huge marks in the form of a spiral on their backs and others have actually been entirely damaged from the accident. Numerous much less lucky ones do not live to swim far from these crashes and some have actually also been reduced in 2 by huge watercrafts.

Several of these animals that are not eliminated by these crashes can still create an infection from their cuts, which might still lead to fatality. One feasible description for the multitude of crashes in between them and watercrafts is a manatee’s hearing capacities. Researcher have actually discovered that they listen to on a high regularity, making them not able to listen to the reduced regularities given off by several bigger watercrafts.

Various other human- made dangers to these animals consist of floodgates, navigating locks, and various other frameworks in the water. Sometimes, they will certainly obtain squashed by these frameworks. Occasionally, they likewise obtain entangled up in internet, box catches, or various other angling equipment. They might pass away from this also.

One more danger to the manatees is red trends. A red trend is an algae flower that is comprised of huge focus of protozoans, unicellular algae, and various other marine microbes that have actually been raised from the seafloor. Red trends commonly take place after a cyclone or various other effective tornado stimulates the waters sufficient. The microbes discovered in red trends are commonly poisonous to manatees and various other sea animals. For instance, in 1996, a red trend along the southwestern coastline of Florida eliminated a minimum of 151 of these animals.

If manatees remain in water that is listed below 60 levels, their body will certainly close down, triggering them to pass away. While the majority of them often tend to remain in warmer waters, some might mistakenly move to a cooler location or come to be damaged and not able to move to warmer waters prior to their existing area obtains as well cool. In addition, more youthful animals are really interested and might take a trip right into chillier water without recognizing it.

There are few all-natural predators to these animals. While an alligator, crocodile, killer whale, tiger shark might sometimes take advantage of a manatee, it does not take place really commonly. This is since these predators often tend to swim in much deeper components of the sea, while manatees remain in superficial waters.

Amazonian – and West African Manatees share a conservation status of vulnerable, according to the Globe Preservation Union. In 2017, the West Indian Manatee was reduced from a conservation status of endangered to that of intimidated. Nevertheless, several researchers and other individuals worried regarding the safety and security of the these animals were not pleased with the choice to downgrade its conservation status. They did not assume that information revealing that several manatees passed away in between 2010 and 2016 from air pollution, being struck by watercrafts, and reliance on synthetically cozy water was thought about.

Manatee: The Animal’s Reproduction, Children, and Life-span

These animals mate every 2 to 5 years. They do not mate forever unlike a few other animals. When reproducing, a breeding herd is created. A breeding herd is 12 or even more males (bull) adhering to a solitary female (cow) manatee. Reproducing tops in the springtime and summertime, though it can happen any time throughout the year. Males and females both get to the age of sex-related maturation at around 5 years.

Females will certainly have a brand-new calf bone every 2 to 5 years. Usually, they will just have a brand-new calf bone after 2 years if their shed their last calf bone quickly after birth. Manatees have a gestation duration of regarding one year. There are a couple of unusual situations of doubles, yet the majority of the moment they bring to life simply one calf bone.

After birth, elevating the calf bone is entirely the mommy’s task. The calf bones evaluate regarding 66 extra pounds and are around 47 inches long. Moms registered nurse their calf bones for a couple of years. Nevertheless, after a couple of weeks, young calf bones will certainly likewise start consuming plants also.

Upon being birthed, a newborn calf bone has the ability to swim to the surface area by themselves. They are likewise able to start to pronounce quickly after being birthed. While they are most likely able to endure by themselves after regarding a year, several calf bones will certainly remain with their mommy for approximately 2 years.

These animals have a life expectancy of in between 50 and 60 years. A Florida manatee in bondage, called Snotty, lived to be 69 years of ages.

Manatee Population

There are presently around 13,000 West IndianManatees The general variety of West Indian Manatees has actually boosted just recently. They have a conservation status of intimidated.

The existing population of the Amazonian Manatee is not understood, yet researchers think their numbers are lowering. The last taped quote for these animals was 10,000 in 1977. They have a conservation status of vulnerable.

There are much less than 10,000 West African Manatees still living. Their numbers are lowering also as a result of the different dangers they deal with. They have a conservation status of vulnerable.

Manatees in the Zoo: Where To Locate The Animal

If you want to obtain a close- up sight of these animals, there are a couple of various zoos where you’ll have the ability to do so. These consist of:

  • Zoo Tampa Bay
  • Sea Globe, Orlando
  • The Cincinnati Zoo
  • The Columbus Zoo

Just How to Conserve the Manatee

Because all 3 species of these animals have a conservation status of intimidated or vulnerable, taking actions to conserve these wonderful beings and maintain them from coming to be endangered or extinct is necessary. There are points we can all do that can assist shield them and boost their population, lowering their possibilities of coming to be extinct.

Below are a couple of methods you can assist:

  • Look out and comply with the rate restrictions when boating: When you’re out in your watercraft, complying with rate area indicators is vital. This will certainly lower the possibilities that your watercraft’s props will certainly trigger severe damage to a manatee that might accidentally swim right into your watercraft. You must likewise understand when you are out on the water and watch for them. Guide your watercraft to prevent any kind of that you might see.
  • Location garbage in a trash bin: Garbage and various other air pollution from humans can make these animals ill and might also trigger them to pass away. Constantly be thoughtful and take care of your garbage in a trash bin.
  • Do not attempt to feed a wild manatee: Wild manatees are flawlessly efficient in discovering their very own food. If you feed a wild manatee, you are motivating it ahead closer to marinas trying to find even more food. Nevertheless, marinas present a terrific threat to them as a result of all the watercrafts and props, so they must not be fed and urged ahead more detailed.
  • Call a skilled expert if you discover a damaged manatee: Constantly allow a person that understands what they are doing assist a manatee that has actually been harmed. While you might intend to concern the rescue, you might conveniently make the injury even worse or injured on your own.
  • Give away to manatee preservation companies: Also if you do not reside in locations where these animals can be discovered, you can still make a distinction. Locate a manatee preservation team that is functioning in the direction of conserving these animals and make a contribution to their company.
  • End up being a manatee lobbyist or volunteer: One more means you can assist in saving these animals is to come to be politically entailed. Create letters to your agents allowing them understand you want to see plans take into location that shields them. You might likewise come to be a volunteer with a company that is functioning to shield these animals.

A couple of little actions can have a huge effect and can assist stop the manatee from coming to be endangered, or, also worse, extinct.


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  2. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals
  3. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia
  4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species
  5. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals
  6. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals
  7. David W. Macdonald, Oxford University Press (2010) The Encyclopedia Of Mammals
  8. Wikipedia, Available here:
  9. Seaworld Parks & Entertainment, Available here:,look%20more%20green%20or%20brown.
  10. Captain Mike’s Swimming with the Manatees, Available here:
  11. Save the Manatee, Available here:
  12. Dolphin Research Centre, Available here:,Support%20conservation%20organizations%20like%20DRC.
  13. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Available here:

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