MANATEE FACT SHEET

Name: Florida Manatee
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Sirenia
Family: Trichechidae
Genus: Trichechus
Species: Mamatus
Subspecies: Latirostris
 
Description: Large, seal-like body that tapers to a beaver-like tail. Two forelimbs with three or four nails on each. Thick skin, with stiff whiskers on upper lip
Color: Grey or grey-brown
Size: Typically about 9-10 feet long, weighing 1,000 pound. Can grow as large as 13 feet, weighing more than 3,000 pounds.
Behavior: Completely harmless and nonagressive, they are often shy and reclusive.
Vision: Depth perception may be limited.  Can differentiate colors.
Hearing:  Can hear well despite the absence of external ear lobes:  directional hearing is limited.
Communication:  Emit sounds that are within human auditory range.  They make squeaks and squeals when frightened, playing or communication, particularly between cow and calf.
Breathing:  Nostrils on upper surface of snout close tightly like valves when submerged.  Surfaces to breathe every few minutes when active;  every 10 to 15 minutes when resting.
Range/Habitat:  Primarily restricted to peninsular Florida and south Georgia.  They can be found in shallow, slow-moving rivers, estuaries, saltwater bays, canals, and coastal areas, particularly where seagrasss beds flourish.  they can live in fresh or salt water.
Reproduction:  Normally one calf every 2 to 5 years.
Population:  At least 1,850 remaining in the southeastern U.S. concentrated in Florida year-round
 

Photos Courtesy of: Clark Wheeler

Photos Courtesy of: Greg Damato

Photos Courtesy of: Marty Senetra

Photos Courtesy of: Riversport Kayaks

 

 

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