The Florida Manatee

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- Florida manatee Introduction: The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus) is a marine mammal which is also known as “West Indian manatee” or North American manatee. Manatees are occasionally called sea cows as they are similar to cows on land. Manatees belong to the family Trichechidae. This manatee is the largest, fully aquatic surviving member of the aquatic mammal “order Sirenia”. The lifespan of the manatee is 50-60 years in the wild. It is known that manatees have good long-term memory and they demonstrate task-learning abilities similar to dolphins. Habitats: The primary habitat of this manatee species is the warm Florida coastal waters which provide wintering refuges for manatees in natural warm water springs. They also are attracted
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Despite their small eyes and lack of outer ears, manatees are thought to see and hear quite well. Manatees may live around 50 years old. Manatees have four rows of cheek teeth, which are not clearly differentiated into molars and premolars. Manatee teeth are continually replaced throughout the manatee's lifetime with new teeth growing at the rear as older teeth fall out from farther forward in the mouth. At any given time, a manatee typically has no more than six teeth in each jaw of its mouth. Manatees have a simple stomach, but a large cecum, in which they can digest tough plant matter. In general, their intestines have a typical length of about 45 meters, which is unusually long for animals of their size. Manatees are the only animal known to have a vascularized cornea. On the average, an adult manatee measures up to 4.0 meters long, and weigh as much as 590 kilograms with recorded measures beyond the mentioned values; females that tend to be larger and heavier have two teats, one under each flipper. A manatee's lungs are 2/3 the length of its body. Feeding habits: Manatees are herbivores, with a diet consisting mostly of sea grasses and freshwater vegetation. They are known to eat over 60 different…show more content…
Manatees swim at about 5 to 8 kilometers per hour; much speedy swimming has been known in short bursts (up to 30 km/hour). Reproduction: Female manatees reach sexual maturity between five and nine years of age. Manatees typically breed once every two years. A female manatee usually seeks quiet area in which to give birth after a gestation of about 12 months. Generally, most births are of a single calf about 120 centimeters long with about 30 kilograms weight, although a few cases of twins have been documented. Immediately after birth, calves vocalize and this is an important part of the mother-calf strong bonding process. Within few hours after birth, calves begin to nurse underwater from teats located behind the mother’s flippers. They begin eating plants a few weeks after birth. Within minutes of birth, newly born calves swim with -and in parallel to- their mothers directly behind her flipper. Although a manatee calf is probably nutritionally independent by the end of its first year, it may stay with its mother for another year or two. During this period, mother passes to her calf information on feeding and resting areas, travel routes and warm water refuges.Threats: Human-related activities represent the main threat for

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