Trichechus manatus latirostris
The first 2 photos show about a dozen manatees hanging around a corner of the springs. Since it was starting to warm up, most manatees had left the springs for the day to forage outside and would come back in the evening as the water cools. The third shows a calf and its mother, with the 4th showing it nursing (the mammary glads are behind the front flippers). Many of the manatees hang out just outside the springs, with hundreds coming to the King's Bay area in the winter.
Three Sisters Springs is 72 degrees year-round give or take a degree, making it a safe place to manatees to come and escape the cold winter waters. The power plant a little further out of town warms the water, which is why so many manatees come into the bay and find their way to the springs here. They learn it is a good place to winter and come back each year.
Lat: 28.89, Long: -82.59
Spotted on Dec 15, 2018
Submitted on Mar 13, 2019
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