Manatee – large aquatic mammals

Manatee is a large herbivorous aquatic mammal who is also known by the name of sea cows. There are three living species of Manatee, who are known as Sirenia: the Amazonian manatee, the West Indian manatee, and the West African manatee. They are 4 meters long and weighs about 590kgs. These creatures have flippers which look like paddles.

A rescued Manatee

A rescued Manatee


They have masses of about 590 kilograms and are 4 meters long. Baby manatees are born with a mass of approximately 30 kg. These creatures are known to have large, prehensile, and flexible upper lip. They use their lips for gathering food and eating them and also for communications and social interactions.


Manatees are usually solitary animals. Sometimes many manatees can be seen together when mother manatees are with their children or when male manatees are following female ones.


These creatures inhabit the marshy, shallow coastal areas as well as rivers of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Some are also found in African regions.


A picture of a Manatee

A picture of a Manatee

These creatures are herbivores and so eat freshwater (pickerel weed, alligator weed, hydrilla) and saltwater plants (sea grasses, manatee grass, widgeon grass). They eat almost 50kg every day and are also known to consume a minimum amount of fishes.


They breed once in two years, and one calf is born. The gestation period lasts for 12 months and 12 to 18 months more for weaning the calf.


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Scientific classification of Manatee





Conservation status:


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Range of the Manatee

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