Marine Animals: The Manatee

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Manatees are marine mammals that breathe air through their nostrils. Their nickname is a sea cow. Manatees are consider for being the basis for the mermaid legend. There are a few species of manatees: the West African, the Amazonian, and the West Indian. They are settle in rivers, in the ocean, and on the shore line of islands. All three species of sirenians are endangered or threatened. The Florida manatee is one of the most endangered marine mammals in the United States.

Manatees of the West Indian live on the shore as well as in rivers from the mid-Atlantic and northeastern Brazil to southeastern United States. They also live near islands in the Caribbean Sea. Manatees of the Amazonian live only in South American Rivers. Manatees of the West African experience in the rivers and coastal waters of West Africa.

“They are large marine mammals, with whale-like bodies that a taper to a flat, paddle- shaped tail”(“Manatee Facts” save the Manatee. Save the Manatee Club, n.d.). Their lungs stretch horizontally along the body. Their tail is wide and rounded. They have light gray to dark gray skin with hairs scattered over their body. They do not have hind legs. Some reach 13ft long and weight more than 3,500 pounds. All manatees in the world have similar habitats. They are occupying in deep, slow-moving rivers, saltwater bays, canals, plus coastal areas, mostly where sea grass beds or freshwater vegetation flourish. In addition manatees are herbivores. “Manatees eat water plants and can eat about 10-15% of their body mass in vegetation every day”(“Manatee Facts” save the Manatee. Save the Manatee Club, n.d.).

Even though manatees can live to almost 60 years of age, their reproduction remains very slow. Manat...

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