A very good news for all the animal and nature enthusiasts out there – manatees are crossed out of the close to extinction list. Finally, after so many great species went extinct, people managed to save one.
Although the half-ton weighing, clumsy (on surface) and cute marine mammals are still under strict protection, they no longer meet the “endangered species” definition.
The manatee population in Florida has grown from several hundred to 6.000. The definition of the mammal should now be changed from “endangered” to “threatened”, which means that this species is threatened to become endangered.
Also known as “sea cows,” manatees are found mainly in Florida. Some of the species are also common in Puerto Rico and other parts of the Caribbean. The main reason to their reducing numbers are boats, cold water, toxic algae blooms and discarded fishing debris.
A few facts about this lovely creature
- Manatees have a mass of 400 to 550 kilograms and length of 2.8 to 3.0 metres.
- They have a large, flexible, prehensile upper lip. They use the lip to gather food and eat, as well as using it for social interactions and communications.
- Generally, manatees swim at about 5 to 8 kilometres per hour.
- Manatees are capable of understanding discrimination tasks and show signs of complex associative learning. They also have good long-term memory. They demonstrate discrimination and task-learning abilities similar to dolphins and pinnipeds in acoustic and visual studies.
- Manatees are herbivores and eat over 60 different freshwater and saltwater plants. Using their divided upper lip, an adult manatee will commonly eat up to 10%-15% of their body weight (about 50 kg) per day.