18 Facts To Help You Appreciate Manatees

1. Manatees are very gentle and slow-moving. The majority of their time is spent eating, resting, and traveling.

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2. They have basically no natural enemies. (Well duh, just look at that adorable squidgy face!)

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3. Human watercraft accidents and loss of habitat are the main threats to manatee life.

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4. Their lil’ eyes may be small, but their eyesight is surprisingly keen.

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Manatees have a membrane which can be drawn across the eyeball for protection, which is why their eyes can look “flat” in some instances.

5. The name “manatee” comes from the Taíno (pre-Colombian people of the Caribbean) word “manatí” which means “breast.”

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6. A manatee can eat A TENTH of its body weight in 24 hours. That’s like a human eating (on average) fifteen pounds of food in a day. THINK ABOUT IT.

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7. Manatees are born underwater and mothers help their calves to the surface for their first breath.

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8. Manatees never leave the water, but they must surface to breathe.

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A resting manatee can stay submerged for 15 minutes, but must surface every 3-4 minutes while swimming.

9. THEY HAVE THE CUTEST NOSES EVER.

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10. Their diet consists of water grasses, weeds, and algae. So, basically, y’know, green stuff.

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11. Manatees are the state marine mammal of Florida. Good choice, Floridians.

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12. Despite their slow-moving nature, manatees have been known to “body surf” or “barrel roll” while playing. Which is the cutest thing ever.

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13. Their thick, bristled, upper lip helps them collect food. The lip is split down the middle, and each half can be used independently to grasp at vegetation.

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14. Manatees are considered to be a Vulnerable Species, as the number of mature individuals is currently estimated to number less than 10,000.

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This number is expected to decline at a rate of at least 10 percent over the course of three generations.

15. Manatees have six neck vertebrae, whereas most other mammals have seven…

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16. … Because of this, manatees can’t turn their head sideways, and have to turn their entire body to look behind them.

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17. Manatee nipples are located behind their flippers – in what we would consider to be the arm pit.

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“Watch the hands, buddy!”

18. They are literally the cutest. End of discussion.

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Source: buzzfeed.com

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