Everything You Need To Know About Manatees


Everything You Need To Know About Manatees




Ever wanted to learn more about the beautiful creatures that live in our waters?

From their elegant swimming habits to their championship breath-holding abilities, manatees are one of nature’s gentle giants.

But did you know that these majestic creatures are also endangered? Read on to discover everything you need to know about manatees. 

You’ll be able to identify them and get a closer look at their majestic habitat.

Manatees Are Gentle Giants

Native to Florida’s coastal waters, manatees are peaceful and adorable creatures.


Though manatees are large and intimidating, they are surprisingly adorable up close.

Typically found in estuaries and coastal waters, manatees are small mammals that can grow up to 10 feet long and weigh 1,200 pounds.

Despite their impressive size, manatees face many threats, including habitat loss and increasing watercraft traffic.

The species has been wiped out from the Earth several times, with the greatest threat being human activity.

Humans do a lot of damage to manatees, many of whom are unaware they are doing it.

A recent drone video of manatees on Bradenton Beach, Fla., captured the attention of beachgoers who thought the manatees were stranded.

Nevertheless, the footage revealed the animals’ friendly and curious nature, making the incident all the more exciting.

A distant relative of elephants, manatees can swim up to 15 miles per hour in short bursts and swim at about 3 mph.

Their powerful tails allow them to swim slowly but efficiently. Their strong tails allow them to remain submerged for up to 20 minutes and up to five hours on the move.

They are also extremely slow, and they can go nearly without air – a good thing for humans!

They’re Graceful Swimmers

You’ve probably heard of the manatee. This aquatic mammal, sometimes called sea cows, is an exceptionally graceful swimmer.


It moves at a moderate pace of 5 miles per hour but can reach speeds of 15 miles per hour in bursts. It uses its powerful tail to propel itself through the water.

Manatees are also at risk of injury from outboard motors, so you should stay away from them if you’re in a boat.

Manatees are aquatic mammals that are closely related to elephants. They feed on plants that grow on sea floors and inhabit rivers and shallow nearshore waters.

These gentle giants are also very good parents, teaching their young to be self-reliant and life-saving.

When their babies start drowning, good mothers will race to the surface to rescue them.

They also have the ability to swim at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour, which is comparable to human walking speed.

Though manatees are not the fastest swimmers, they can travel up to 15 miles per hour!

They usually swim in pairs or small groups of up to six. They rarely leave the water, and surface only to breathe.

Manatees are often seen resting near the water’s surface and are easy to spot from above.

These aquatic mammals can stay submerged for up to 15 minutes without ever coming up for air, but they usually surface every three or four minutes to rehydrate themselves and breathe.

They’re Champion Breath-Holders

Manatees are champion breath-holders. Despite being slow-moving, the manatees have a high lung capacity, allowing them to hold their breath for up to 20 minutes.


Scientists have attempted to motivate them to surface faster to catch fish, but they had no luck.

Manatees are the world’s champion breath-holders! Read on to find out how these gentle giants can hold their breath underwater for so long!

Manatees can hold their breath for up to 20 minutes, much longer than most people. But even manatees have their limits.

They can only stay underwater for a few minutes, and they prefer to come up for air every three to four minutes.

They can hold their breath for this long because they don’t have predators underwater.

Crocodiles, sharks, and alligators can kill them if they’re underwater, so manatees prefer shallow water.

The air they breathe out is known as manatee gas, and it is made up of thousands of small, tactile hairs.

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The manatee’s lungs regulate its buoyancy by compressing their lung volumes, thereby making the animal’s body denser.

Manatees are also known to perform ‘tail stands’ in shallow water in order to breathe and regulate buoyancy. But this practice is not for everyone.

They’re Endangered

Despite a recent increase in their numbers, manatees are still considered endangered.


Despite being protected by law, manatees are under threat from human activity.

Collisions with watercraft and alarming temperature changes are among the main threats.

All three species are under the protection of the Endangered Species Act. To protect manatees, a lot of research needs to be done.

And as a part of that research, a new documentary titled Manatees Under Threat has just been released.

The US Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has made its decision based on incomplete data.

It ignored significant die-offs in 2010 and 2013 and failed to acknowledge climate change as a threat to the manatees.

Nevertheless, the commission did acknowledge the potential for a reduction in the manatee population due to climate change, which would impact their habitat and lead to harmful algae blooms.

As a result, manatees are still under threat, and the agency should revisit the proposal at its meeting on Dec. 5.

The range of manatees has been reduced to just one percent of their original range. This makes manatees particularly vulnerable to extinction throughout their range.

Their reproductive rate is low, with a gestation period of about a year. Because manatees are not able to produce many offspring, fewer than two thousand are born each year.

Their mothers are deeply bonded with their calves, so even if they get into a fight, they are unlikely to be violent.

They’re Cute

You may have heard of manatees as adorable sea creatures, but did you know they are endangered?


You probably wouldn’t want to get too close to these adorable creatures, especially considering they can end up on dinner tables in Cuba!

One WUSF reporter recently tagged along with a conservationist from the Sea to Shore Alliance, a Sarasota-based organization.

On his weekly show, “Florida Matters,” Steve Newborn reports on the state’s wildlife problems.

If you are ever in Florida, you’ll find these sea cows in the rivers and coastal areas.

You may even get to meet a calf or two. Just be sure not to get too close, as manatees don’t like being touched.

Remember “look, but don’t touch,” and don’t separate a calf from its mother. Also, keep in mind that you may see some research equipment attached to the manatee.

Researchers use this equipment to track the animal, as well as for health reasons. This equipment is not harmful to the manatee, and you should never attempt to remove it.

The mother of manatees cares for her young for two years after birth. A manatee calf will be dependent on its mother for food and protection.

As manatees do not have natural predators, they lack an aggressive mechanism or elaborate escape response.

They are affectionate toward humans and respond warmly to them.

They prefer a slow speed of three to five miles per hour and enjoy the company of other sea creatures and people.

They’re A Mermaid Legend

Manatees have long been associated with the myths of mermaids, but is there any truth to them?


According to some sources, manatees are not mermaids. These aquatic mammals are related to sea cows.

Although their name may make people think of mermaids, the truth is that manatees are part of a thriving ecosystem, and are not mermaids at all.

Manatees are slow-moving creatures that live near the shore. Their long, curved fins are used to swim and frolic in the water.

These creatures are curious and are rarely attacked by other marine mammals. They are the closest living cousins of mermaids and are known for their nocturnal habits.

Their five-digit flippers resemble human forelimbs when submerged.

Manatees, dugongs, and other sea mammals are often misidentified as mermaids and sirens.

These sea mammals are much larger than mermaids, and their shadows cast beneath the water could easily fool sailors.

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Manatees can pass for humanoids when observed from a distance but are not considered mermaids. So, what is the truth behind the legend?

Although there is no truth to the manatee mermaid story, there may be some truth in the myth. Manatees are actually similar to mermaids in their behavior and habitat.

Manatees can travel at speeds of between 15-20 mph. However, they are not immune to collisions with boats. Thus, it is important to take care of our oceans and the world.






Questions People Also Ask: (FAQs)





Is it possible to get injured by a manatee?

It is not known for manatees to assault or cause harm to anything. They swim for a good portion of each day to reach the sea grasses and other aquatic flora to graze on it.

And when they are finished, they retire to their personal spaces to sleep and refresh themselves.


Why is it important to avoid touching manatees?

It is against the law to touch manatees because doing so can lead the creatures to behave in an unexpected manner.

Because of their laid-back and inquisitive demeanor, manatees are already classified as endangered species.

This puts them at increased risk from threats, one of which is being run over by speed boats.


Is the manatee the same thing as a sea cow?

Manatees are commonly referred to as sea cows because of their appearance, similar to walruses or bulky porpoises. Despite this, manatees are considered more closely related to elephants than any other mammal.


Is it safe to swim with manatees?

They are gregarious and like to have fun.

Manatees are amiable and readily amused creatures, even though they travel cautiously across the water. When they are enthusiastic, manatees like body surfing and performing barrel rolls as fun.

When you snorkel in the ocean, some manatees will come close to you because they are social creatures that thrive on human interaction.


Are manatees on the menu for alligators?

Alligators typically do not cause problems for manatees; nonetheless, they have been known to bite the satellite tags affixed to manatees and occasionally attack manatee calves.

The most common cause of mortality for adult manatees is still being struck by boats, even though alligator attacks are uncommon.


What should you do if a manatee touches you?

According to Hitzig, “the manatee would not benefit from this in any way.” Manatees are covered and protected by both state and federal legislation because of their endearing qualities, which include being kind and moving very slowly.

You can view them for as long as you like, but you are not permitted to touch them. You are prohibited from touching the Manatees, or feed them, molest them, cause them harm, or follow them.


What does a manatee typically eat?

There are no true predators that target manatees in the wild. It is possible for sharks, killer whales, alligators, or crocodiles to consume them; however, because these animals often do not inhabit the same bodies of water, this scenario occurs very infrequently.

The greatest danger they face comes from human beings. As a consequence of this, all species of manatees are classified as endangered or threatened.


Why is it against the law to drink manatee water?

Both state and federal law provides legal protection for manatees. Because of these rules, it is against the law to eat manatees, harass, pursue, harm, or kill them.

It’s illegal to harass manatees in any way, including by feeding them, giving them water, or changing their behavior in any other way.


Can manatees make it through the day without water?

Even though they never leave the water, manatees, like all other marine mammals, must come to the surface to breathe air.

When a manatee can stay below for up to 15 minutes while resting, it must come to open or the surface of the water every three to four minutes when it is actively swimming.


Does manatee bite humans?

You won’t get bitten by a manatee! Manatees are naturally calm and submissive animals, and they like the company of people very much.

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Manatees are also known to be quite friendly. When you are floating in the water and come into contact with manatees, they watch your movements carefully but will not bother you.

They will shun you and move away from you if they assume you pose a threat to them.


How long does the life of a manatee typically last?

In captivity, manatees have been known to live for over 65 years. It takes female manatees 3-5 years and male manatees 5-7 years to attain sexual maturity.

The gestation time or period lasts about a year and a half, and there is often only one calf born. The calf can remain with its mother (the cow) for up to two years.


If sharks are so hungry, why don’t they devour manatees?

Reasons as to why sharks do not typically consume manatees. Although sharks are capable of eating manatees, they do not often actively search for huge stout creatures like manatees.

Manatees fall under the category of large bony animals. Because a two-meter shark’s regular diet consists of fish that are less than one foot in length, it is difficult for them to take on an animal as large as a manatee.

Manatees are a common prey item for sharks.


Do manatees sleep upside down?

Manatees sleep in an inverted position at all times because, as marine animals, they risk passing away if they do not breathe as soon as necessary.

However, manatees may also sleep with their backs resting on the sea bed.


What color is a fart supposed to be?

The hue of the flame produced by a fart can, to a certain extent, provide some insight into the contents of the fart.

If hydrogen is the predominant fuel source for a fart’s flame, the flame will burn yellow or orange.

On the other hand, if the fart contains an abnormally high amount of methane, the flame will be blue.


Do humans consume manatees in any way?

It is possible to chop it up and make a nice stew. Have the beef pepper steaks at the Chinese eateries satisfied your appetite?

The same is true for using manatee meat in your recipes. When fish was the primary source of protein on the island, the manatee’s meat was considered a delicacy since it was the only source of meat available.


Do manatees Sleep?

It would be more appropriate to state that manatees sleep, as they do so for up to 12 hours a day.

Because they have to come to the surface to breathe, some animals, especially marine mammals, exhibit a sleep pattern known as unihemispheric sleep.

When you need to breathe air, it is physically impossible to sleep underwater.


Are manatees descended from Mermaids?

It is possible to be perplexed by the idea of conflating a lumbering, blubbery sea cow with a lovely young lady with a fishtail.

The scientific name for manatees and dugongs is Sirenia, a name that sounds similar to that of a mythological mermaid.

However, this is a mistake that is made rather frequently. Even in modern times, people continue to make up sightings of mermaids.


What is the highest number of offspring a manatee can have?

The manatee has a slow rate of reproduction compared to other mammals. Around the age of five, both boys and females reach the age at which they are sexually mature.

There is often just one calf born between the ages of two and five years, and the birth of twins is quite uncommon. The time between birth is typically between two and five years.




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