Where do Manatees Live?
Manatees are large, slow-moving mammals that live in warm, shallow waters. They are found in three main areas of the world:
- The Caribbean. The West Indian manatee is found in the Caribbean Sea, including the Gulf of Mexico, the Bahamas, and the Greater Antilles.
- West Africa. The West African manatee is found along the coast of West Africa, from Senegal to Angola.
- The Amazon River. The Amazonian manatee is found in the Amazon River basin, in Brazil.
Manatees are herbivores and eat a variety of plants, including seagrass, algae, and aquatic vegetation. They need warm water to survive and cannot tolerate temperatures below 68 degrees Fahrenheit. In the winter, manatees in Florida often migrate to warm water springs and discharge canals.
Manatees are slow-moving and gentle creatures. They are an important part of the ecosystem and play a role in controlling the growth of aquatic vegetation. However, they are also vulnerable to a number of threats, including boat strikes, habitat loss, and pollution.
Manatees are Related To?
Around 50 to 60 million years ago manatees descended from a four-foot animal and lived in the sea. Today, the closest living relative to a manatee is an elephant.
What do Manatees eat?
Manatees are herbivores and eat a variety of plants, including seagrass, algae, and aquatic vegetation. They use their lips to grasp the plants and then use their teeth to tear them off. They can eat up to 100 pounds of food per day.
Some of the most common foods that manatees eat include:
- Water lilies
- Pistia stratiotes
- Eichhornia crassipes
- Azolla filiculoides
Manatees are very important to the ecosystem because they help to control the growth of aquatic vegetation. They also help to distribute seeds and nutrients throughout the water.
However, manatees are also vulnerable to a number of threats, including boat strikes, habitat loss, and pollution. It is important to do our part to protect these gentle creatures.