I was thinking about what I could write up this week and I thought to myself ” Toots, why not just write something light-hearted, fun and something to appreciate just a few of the wonderful species we have on this planet”.
I then came up with having an 8 animal fact feature on this blog, and every fortnight writing a small ” fact” article on a single species I love and feel people would maybe like to know a little bit more about, if you don’t perhaps know already.
Why only 8 facts? because 8 is a good number, just because… there is no logical reasoning.
For my first week i have chosen the beautiful squishy beans; Manatees.
Known as “gentle giants” and “sea cows” Manatees are large, herbivorous, Aquatic mammals that’s closest relatives are the elephants.
There are 3 species of known Manatee. The Amazonian manatee, West Indian manatee, and West African manatee. which latin names are Trichechus inunguis, Trichechus manatus and Trichechus senegalensis (what a mouthful imma right?)
Early explorers such as Christopher Columbus believed to have seen female-like figures swimming in the ocean, creating legends of mermaids from this era.
A lot of these encounters are now known to have been manatees and manatees are now being credited for being the base of mermaid legends.
Manatees can grow from 8-13ft and weigh up to 1300 pounds! (They can also live around 40-60 years in the wild!)
A manatee can eat up to a tenth of its weight in a 24 hour period, eating algae, sea grass and other marine weeds.
Manatees see colours blue, green and grey. But not red!
Manatees have no natural predators but humans have played a massive part in making all three of the manatee species close to extinction. (Which really sucks btw, shame on you humanity) These gentle creatures are usually hit by boats, entangled in fishing nets and hunted for attributes such as there hide.
Manatees in Florida congregate at a power plants discharge pipes as the water is warm you can read more about this here.
And there you have it. 8 facts about our beloved sea cows.
you can learn more about saving the manatees over at the Save the Manatee Club or learn more about the threats to the manatee species and conservation efforts at the dolphin research centre.