Did you know?
Manatees are slow moving, non-aggressive, and generally curious creatures.
They can weigh up to 1200 lbs and reach up to 10 ft in length!
The manatee's closest land relative is the elephant.
On average, most manatees swim about 3 to 5 miles per hour. However, they have been known to swim up to 20 miles per hour in short bursts
Half a manatee's day is spent sleeping in the water.
Manatees must surface for air regularly, but they have been known to stay submerged for up to 20 minutes at a time!
Well known for their gentle, slow-moving nature, manatees have also been known to body surf or barrel roll when playing.
Manatees can live up to 60 years.
They have a large upper lip that is used to gather food, as well as for social interactions and communications of emotions such as excitement and fear.
Manatees are believed to have the ability to see in color.
Researches have found that manatees may use taste and smell, in addition to sight, sound, and touch to communicate.
Manatees are capable of understanding tasks, show signs of complex learning and demonstrate long term memory.
IMPACT OF COMMERCIAL FISHING ON MANATEES: Though hunting manatees was banned in 1893 and manatees have few natural predators (sharks, crocodiles, killer whales and alligators) manatees are listed by the World Conservation Union as vulnerable to extinction. The current main threat to manatees in the United States is being struck with boats or slashed by propellers.