The Manatee Essay Research Paper The Manatee

The Manatee Essay, Research Paper

The Manatee

My report is on the manatee, specifically, the Northern Manatee, better known as the West Indies or West Indian

Manatee. The scientific name of the Northern Manatee is Trichechus Manatus. The Manatee is a versatile animal when it

comes to it s habitat. It lives mostly in shallow salt water, although it has been known to live in freshwater, and

deep salt water. The Northern Manatee s main population is in rivers in Florida and the Caribbean Isles and Sea,

although there are exceptions, such as if the manatee gets hurt, it may go to SeaWorld or places like it, to be healed

and recover. The Northern Manatee can and has adapted to humans in it s habitat. Since the Northern Manatee has no

natural predators, it can live in any shallow salt water, and comes to many areas with live coral reefs.

The Northern Manatee grows inside it s mother for a year or more before the calf is born. The calf stays with it s

mother for around two years. At birth the Manatee is a little more than three feet (1 meter) long, and weighs from

25 to 60 pounds. Adult manatees are on average seven to twelve feet in length, although some have been known to grow

up to fifteen feet. The manatee is one of the only marine mammals. Unlike most mammals, the manatee does not have

calves every year. The female manatee has one calf every two to three years. The Northern Manatee swims at an easy

pace of five miles an hour. If the animal is frightened, it swims at a faster pace of fifteen miles an hour. The

manatee eats underwater vegetation, using it s weak front flippers to push the food into their mouth. The manatee

can eat up to one hundred pounds of underwater vegetation a day. The manatee has a round, powerful, flat tail.

The tail is the manatee s main propulsion. Most mammals have seven vertebra in the neck. The manatee has six in

their neck. The manatee has twenty to thirty molars. Since all manatees look suprisingly human when they have their

shoulders and head out of the water, it is thought that they may have started the mermaid rumors/stories. The

manatee has very weak front flippers. They have been heavily hunted in the past, although they are now protected

because they are endangered animals. It is thought that the manatee communicates by contact, more specifically,

muzzle to muzzle contact. The manatee is almost hairless, except for their mustaches . The manatee has leathery

skin. Manatees are sometimes called sea cows . This is because manatees are quiet and peaceful. Their only

defense is to swim away. Since the manatee has no natural predators, the only danger to it is man. The main reason

for the manatee getting killed by man is that the manatee is a very curious animal. It will sometimes swim up to a

boat and get hit by it or it will sometimes get cut up by the boat propeller.


1. Whales and Sharks and Other Creatures of the Deep. pp. 9 – 10

by Susanne Santoro Miller Illustrated by Lisa Bonforte

2. Comptons Interactive Encyclopedia

3. Encyclopedia of Animals

4. Amazing Animals of the Sea pp. 45 – 51

5. Hunted Mammals of the Sea pp. 81 – 83

by Robert M. McClung Illustrated by William Downey


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