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MANATEES



At Dolphin Discovery, our manatees are the outcome of the collaboration program with the Mexican Government in the rescue team of marine mammals strandings.
In 1999, Dolphin Discovery was asked to rescue and recover the health of two manatees:
Romeo and Julieta; they are the first generation of manatees born under human care.

MANATEES

The triquequids (Trichechidae) or Manatees, are a family of placentarian mammals of the order of Sirenia (mermaid). They are tranquil herbivores that are most of the time looking for coastal and shallow water plants to eat them. They eat a variety of 60 different types of plants, like mangle leaves or seaweed. They are able to do that using their upper lip that is divided in two. An adult manatee can eat 9% of its body weight (50 kg) per day.

Manatees can live in the ocean or the river. Not frequently, the killing whale could attack these sweet animals, because they are slow, fat and big, looking easy to prey. But fortunately, the killer whale rarely inhabits the same shallow water they inhabit, so it's difficult to find predation around the triquequids.

The word "manatee" means breast (in the Caribbean indigenous language). The scientific name comes from the Latin word Trichechus, that makes reference to its little hairs spread over their body and manatus comes from the greek word μανάτος (manatus), which means that they are mammals.

Manatees have a mass of 400 to 550 kilograms (880 to 1,210 lb), and average length of 2.8 to 3.0 meters (9.2 to 9.8 ft), with maximum of 3.6 meters (12 ft) and 1,775 kilograms (3,913 lb). The females tend to be larger and heavier. When born, baby manatees have an average mass of 30 kilograms (66 lb). The female gives birth every 2-5 years, the baby depends absolutely from the mother during 2 years and its breastfed until its teeth are well grown to eat solid food. They are considered adults at the age of 4 and they can live till the age of 80.

Their body is grey with pink interstice skin. They distinguish from the dugongs because they have a flat horizontal tail, like a spatula, instead of a half moon shape, like the dugongs have.

DOLPHINS

SEA LIONS

MANATEES

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