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West Indian Manatee

Trichechus manatus


Large, seal-like body that tapers to a powerful flat tail. Two agile forelimbs with three to four toenails on each, which act like arms to help the manatee maneuver in shallow water, grasp and move food toward their mouths, and act like flippers during swimming. Thick and wrinkled skin with a rough texture - a bit jiggly under the neck and arms. Their skin reacts to touch, as their bodies are very muscular - contracting and changing shape slightly when scratched or tickled. Powerful upper lips which articulate to help maneuver food or dig through sediment.


Manatees are found in coastal waterways, estuaries, salt water bays, rivers and canals, particularly where seagrass beds are located.


During the winter months, manatees move from the cooler waters of the St. John's river, into the warmer 72 degree waters of Blue Spring.

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1 Comment

p.young713 9 years ago

This would be a great addition to the Florida Manatee mission! Please consider joining!

Spotted by

Orange City, Florida, USA

Spotted on Jan 30, 2011
Submitted on Apr 30, 2011

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