Ten fun facts about Manatees

Image of Manatees

Fact 1
Manatees are found in slow-moving shallow rivers, estuaries, canals, saltwater bays and coastal areas where freshwater vegetation and sea grass beds flourish.

Fact 2
They eat floating aquatic and semi–aquatic plants. Their min food is algae but they also eat fish and invertebrates. The amount of vegetation consumed daily by a manatee is equivalent to 10 – 15% of their body weight.

Fact 3
These mammals rest submerged at the bottom and come up to breathe on an average of three to five minutes.

Fact 4
They can swim in short bursts for up to 20 mph though their normal speed is 3 – 5 mph.

Fact 5
Manatees live up to 60 years and weigh about 2,000 lbs. They grow to 12 ft. in length.

Fact 6
A manatee reaches sexual maturity when it is about 5 years of age. One calf is born once in 2 – 5 years. The gestation period is one year and mothers nurse their young for one to two years.

Fact 7
Manatees can hear well though they do not have ear lobes externally and can see quite well.

Fact 8
Their colors are usually gray or gray-brown. They are 9 ft long and weigh about 1,000 lbs.

Fact 9
They lose their teeth continuously and new tooth that form at the back of the mouth push the existing teeth in front.

Fact 10
Manatees have 3 - 4 fingernails on each of their flippers. These are used to roll, somersault, swim upside down and vertically and walk on shallow water.


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Short about Manatees
Are gentle aquatic mammals with bodies that taper to a flat paddle shaped tail.

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