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Transcript of MANATEES
By: Lilly Neang
Manatees are very large herbivorous marine animals. There are three species of manatees: the Amazonian
Manatee, the West Indian Manatee,
and the West African Manatee. They
are warm-blooded mammals that live
in the water. Manatees are sirenians and are commonly confused with the dugong, another species of sirenian animals.
The average manatee weighs between 880-1210 pounds, and a baby manatee weighs approximately 66 pounds when it is first born. These mammals have a very large upper lip which allows them to gather food easily. They have no more than six teeth due to the fact that they are herbivores. Manatees have very widely spaced eyes and a paddle shaped tail.
What It Looks Like
Manatees have large upper lips that help them communicate and gather food. Since they are herbivorous animals, manatees have stomachs that can digest tough plant matter. Their paddle-like tail helps them swim through the water and helps scientists differentiate between it and the dugong. Manatees have very thick skin and a lot of body fat to keep their bodies warm in cold temperatures.
Like any other mammal, manatees breath oxygen. They have two small nostrils with muscular flaps that block off water. They come to the surface every 2-3 minutes for a breath, but can stay underwater for about 20 minutes if they are resting. Manatees spend most of their day resting in shallow water.
How It Breathes
What It Eats
Female manatees breed once
every 2 years. Gestation lasts
about 12 months and the
calf weans for about another
12-18 months. The calves are normally brown when they are first born. In about a month, the calves will become a light shade of gray and gain a lot of weight.
Manatees live in various
rivers, shallow marshes,
and coastal areas. They swim in shallow, warm waters and cannot survive in water temperatures less than
15 degrees celcius. Manatees are most found in Caribbean seas, the Gulf of Mexico, and Western
Africa. Some manatees migrate to Florida rivers if the water becomes too cold in their habitat. Every year, about 400 manatees are found in Citrus County, Florida.
female manatees tend to be larger and heavier than males
manatees live for about 60 years
their main threats are from humans (habitat destruction, fishing hooks, boats)
manatees can swim up to 30 kilometers an hour in short bursts
manatees can understand discrimination and learn simple tasks like dolphins
there is a fourth species (dwarf manatee) that lived over 60 million years ago
manatees are also know as 'sea cows'
Lourie, Peter. The Manatee Scientists: saving vulnerable species. 2011
October 10, 2013
"How do manatees..." http://isurus.mote.org/~hughbuffett/pages/Kidz/kidz1.anat.phtml. October 12, 2013
"Dwarf manatee." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwarf_manatee
October 16, 2013
"What do manatees eat?" http://library.thinkquest.org/J002462/eat.htm
October 17, 2013
West Indian Manatee
Paddle shaped tail
whiskers and muscular flaps
to cover nose
thick skin and body fat
Every day, an average manatee eats about 100 pounds of food. That's almost 10% of their body weight! When a baby manatee is first born and has stopped drinking it's mother's milk, it eats about 1200 pounds of vegetation a day. That's the weight of one manatee! Manatees eat turtle grass, mangrove leaves, different species of algae, red mangrove seedlings, and shoal grass. They eat about 60 different species of aquatic plants that live in shallow waters. Manatees cannot search for food deeper than 1-2 meters because they have to come to the surface to breathe. These mammals are herbivores but sometimes are found to eat small fish from nets if they are very hungry.
Hope You Enjoyed It!