Manatee Research Paper

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The trichechus most commonly known as the manatee is a large aquatic mammal with ancestors dating back to 45 million years. The modern manatee has been found in fossil evidence to have existed for at least 1 million years. Living in shallow bodies of fresh and saltwater the manatee is mostly a gentle solitary animal, with highly developed social skills. While different variations of the manatee live across the world, all manatees are slow moving herbivores with very few natural predators. While the manatees are rather slow animals they are agile and can easily maneuver underwater. Closely related to the elephant, the ancestors of the manatee were once land animals, but with time developed into gentle aquatic mammals occupying regions such as Florida, the Amazon River, and parts of the West African coast. The manatee is a truly…show more content…
These vibrissae are as sensitive as human fingers and allow the manatee to feel its surroundings in a better manner. When feeding the manatee uses its split upper lip to help gather and manipulate food allowing them to easily grasp their food. The manatee only has hind molars that move to the front row slowly as teeth fall out, these molars are efficient for grinding down plants and other forms of vegetation that the manatee feeds on. While the manatee mainly lives in warmer waters they have a thick layer of fat covering their bodies in order to insulate themselves from the cold. Depending on where the manatee lives they will have different thickness of their fat layer, for example manatees occupying warmer waters will have a thinner layer while manatees in colder areas will have a thicker layer of fat. While all types of manatees share these adaptations, the three types of manatees vary depending on where they live. The West Indian manatee is the largest of the manatee family with gray to brown skin. This type of manatee lives in

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