manatee


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manatee:

see sireniansirenian
or sea cow,
name for a large aquatic mammal of the order Sirenia. Living sirenians are the dugong and the manatee, both found in warm, shallow waters in sheltered regions, where they feed on seaweeds and seagrasses.
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Manatee

 

any one aquatic mammal of the family Manatidae of the order Sirenia. The body, which usually measures 4 m long (rarely 5 m) and weighs 360 kg (rarely 600 kg), is spindle-shaped. The fin is horizontal and rounded. There are no external ears or hind limbs; the forelimbs have been converted into flexible pectoral fins with three vestigial claws. The coloration of the hairless body ranges from light to dark gray. The fleshy upper lip is cleft and very mobile, with each half moving independently. The paired nostrils are at the tip of the thick muzzle and open only at the moment of inhalation or exhalation. There are approximately 20 teeth. The incisors are lost early, and in their place develop horny plates that serve to grasp and grind food. Manatees feed on aquatic vegetation found in shallow waters.

There are three species of manatees. The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus) lives along the coasts from Florida to Brazil, Nalterer’s manatee (T. inunguis) is found in the Amazon and Orinoco rivers and their tributaries, and the West African manatee (T. senegalensis) lives in the coastal waters and rivers of equatorial Africa.

The gestation period of manatees is five to six months. A single young is born, measuring about 1 m long and weighing 16 to 27 kg; it is nursed by its mother for 18 months. Manatees reach sexual maturity at three to four years of age, when the body is 2.5 m long. In cold weather the animals congregate in groups of up to 15 to 20 individuals. Often resting during the day on the surface of the water, they are most active in the evening, at night, and in the morning. They generally dive and remain underwater for one or two minutes (maximum, 16 minutes). Manatees live in captivity but reproduce poorly. Owing to the sharp decrease in their numbers, trading in manatees has been prohibited in the USA since 1893 and in Guyana since 1926.

REFERENCES

Zhizn’ zhivotnykh, vol. 6. Moscow, 1971.
Mohr, E. Sirenen oder Seekuhe. Ziemsen, 1957. (Die Neue Brehm-Bucherei.)
A. G. TOMILIN

manatee

any sirenian mammal of the genus Trichechus, occurring in tropical coastal waters of America, the Caribbean, and Africa: family Trichechidae. They resemble whales and have a prehensile upper lip and a broad flattened tail
References in periodicals archive ?
And if all that comes out of this discussion is a better relationship with Manatee County, Harmer says, "We're better off?'
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If you would like to make a donation to support the Healthy Start Coalition of Manatee County, Inc., please visit www.hsmanatee.com or contact Lauren Blenker at 941-714-7541 x302 and help mothers and children in need.
Delpech even helped another boat of tourists with proper manatee etiquette.
The manatee population has grown to around 5,000, thanks to decades of protection, he says, but the problem is the increasing number of threats in Florida, which is home to most of the country's manatees.
A year later, I returned to Florida and volunteered for a month doing Manatee Watch, where I had the amazing opportunity to paddle around in my kayak to keep an eye on manatees during the cold weather to watch for signs of cold stress, a disease they acquire if they stay in water below 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
Groff's comments are representative of the environmentalist and general public side of an ongoing fight with a group of boaters, businesses and conservatives over whether the manatee should retain its 1967 federal listing as an endangered species, the most protective classification.
Which of the five counties with manatee deaths is closest to Miami?
When the federal government rules it's OK to head to Cuba by boat, Manatee County will be ready to pounce, said Carlos Buqueras, the port's executive director.