Manatee Musings

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 by Alison

Do you have a favorite marine animal? Mine happens to be the manatee – I know they don’t live in Maine but I just can’t help loving these slow moving sea cows!

Manatees (scientific name Trichechus) spend their entire lives in the water but like all marine mammals, they need to breathe air at the surface. A resting manatee can hold its breath for up to 15 minutes! These lovable creatures eat only plants, mainly sea grass, but they still grow to be up to 13 feet long and 1,300 pounds! And where do manatees live? They need to be in warm water year-round, which means the ocean waters from Florida to Brazil are where they call home.

Until this year, manatees were classified as “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act here in the United States. However, in March of this year, manatees were reclassified as “threatened.” The manatee population in Florida has rebounded with over 6,600 manatees counted in Florida last year!

Leave us a comment below and tell us about your favorite marine organism!

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