MANATEE - Manatee Watchers

Florida Manatees: The Gentle Giants

Gentle and generally slow-moving, manatees spend most of their time eating vegetation (100-150 lbs. per day), resting and traveling. On average manatees can travel about 40 to 50 miles a day, sometimes farther. In this website you'll learn much more about the fabled "Gentle Giants", come face to face with your own virtual manatee encounter, and find information and images for your school projects.

Did You Know?

Florida Manatee resting at Crystal River, FL Some people believe Manatees are near sighted, or may have limited depth perception. It is believed that they can differentiate between colors. It is unclear how manatees navigate in pitch black or murky waters - when their eyesight would be of no use. They do have sparse bodyhair over their bodies, and thick whiskers on their faces. It is not clear if this aids in navigation. One expert is convinced, however, that they know exactly where swimmers are, even in blackout conditions.

Did You Know?

Florida Manatee resting at Homosassa Springs, FL Manatees are mammals and breath air through their noses at the surface - with nostrils which close tightly when submerged. They breath every few minutes when active or swimming, and every 10 to 15 minutes when resting. They are capable of exchanging 98% of their lungs capacity in one breath. Their lungs are very large, and are also used for buoyancy control. The rushing sound of a deep exhaleand breath sound much like a snorkeler. This sound, and the associated "footprint" left by the manatees tail and body at the surface are clues which reveal the presence of manatees in the area.

Did You Know?

Florida Manatee resting at Homosassa Springs, FL Manatees emit sounds that are within human auditory range. They make sounds such as squeaks and squeals when frightened, playing, or communicating; particularly between cow and calf. No air is released from the manatee when these sounds are made, and it is not clear where thesounds are being produced or if they serve any other purpose.
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Call the Wildlife Alert Hotline 1-888-404-FWCC (3922) or *FWC/#FWC, or use VHF Channel 16 on your marine radio if you see an injured, dead, tagged, or orphaned manatee, or if you see a manatee being harassed.
Selected by Science Educators from NSTA Sirenian International
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