Manatee Essay

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The Florida Manatee is actually a subspecies of the West Indian manatee and is a member of the class: Mammalia, order: Sirenia, family: Trichediae and has the scientific name; Trichechus manatus latirostris. These massive animals are native, "from the mid-Atlantic region of the United States, throughout the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, south to coastal parts of northeastern and central-eastern South America" (“West Indian Manatee). These massive aquatic animals may live to be older than 50 years, and reach their sexual maturity at three to five years and only produce a single calf every other year. These animals feed on aquatic vegetation and can consume up to fifteen percent of their body weight in a single day. Manatees are, "primarily…show more content…
After being broken down by their teeth salivary glands begin to aid in digestion. In the West Indian manatee, "submaxillary salivary glands are prominent, but sublingual glands are small" (Berta 346). The manatee has taste buds that occur on the swellings of the tongue and have no tonsils. According to Dr. Bobrin 's lecture PowerPoints, as an herbivore, some of the saliva being produced is an amylase, which begins the breakdown of…show more content…
There are four components to the large intestine; the cecum, the colon, the rectum, and finally the anus. While it does vary from species to species, the Florida manatee does have a cecum. This is a site for fermentation to occur where the ileum and colon meet. Next in the large intestine is the colon, and after that is the rectum. This is the last part of the large intestine and it is, for the most part, a storage area for waste such as feces. It should be noted that more water absorption does occur here. After moving through the entire system, undigested waste exits the body through the anus. This is another sphincter that food must pass through and it is composed of skeletal and smooth

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