Below are some of the facts about Manatee:
- Manatees are popularly known as sea cows. They are aquatic animals, and spends their full life in water. They live in seas and oceans, and in river waters too near the seas. They are mammals and are generally herbivorous.
- The head of the Manatee is egg shape and large. It has a flat tail and flippers. It has a huge body, and moves in a relaxed and lazy ay in water.
- It’s due to the lazy and relaxed nature of the animal, that it gets attacked a lot, and has many predators.
- They look huge, out of shape and cumbersome, and hence gives an idea that they can’t move easily, which is not so actually. They can swim quite gracefully and can swim fast. Their tails being powerful and strong aids in fast swimming.
- The average size of Manatees range between 8 and 13 feet. They weighs between 200 and 590 kg. They are closely related to elephants in some ways.
- In average Manatees can swim at a pace of 8 km/hr. But they can speed up to 24 km/hr in quick small distances.
- The three species of Manatee recorded are the African Manatee, the Amazonian Manatee and the American or West Indian Manatee. The African Manatee lives in Western African rivers near the coastal areas of Africa. The Amazonian Manatee lives near the Amazon river, and are found mainly in Peru, Colombia, and Equador up to the mouth of the river in Brazil.
- Manatees are not territorial animals, and hence they normally swim in pairs or alone. They are never seen in groups of more than six, and when they are seen in groups called aggregates, then they simply get together to enjoy a zone of warn water or some good food supply.
- Manatees feed on vegetation. While in the sea they fed on sea grasses. When in fresh water they feed on fresh water plants. They also feed on algae. In 24 hours time, a Manatee can feed up to a tenth of its own body weight equivalent of food.
- A Manatee lives up to 40 years. A baby Manatee gets mature to mate and give birth to offspring in 5 years.
- The female Manatee stays pregnant for 12 months, and then gives birth to a baby under water. After birth, the baby is helped by the mother to get to the surface of water to get air or breathing. Within an hour of birth the baby learns to swim on its own.