- Manatees do not have any natural predators but they are still listed as a vulnerable species.
- They are often referred to as sea cows and are considered one of the most docile and gentle creatures.
- These cows of the sea should not be touched by humans, or else they will become used to being around people and will lose their fear of us.
Welcome to the Manatee Quiz, where you can test your knowledge and learn more about one of the most gentile and docile mammals of the sea! Manatees are known for their curious, affectionate, and friendly personalities. Because they have no known natural predators, they don’t appear to have an aggression mechanism but rather seem to have a kind and fearless demeanor and have been known to approach people to investigate them.
Take the quiz to test your knowledge of Manatees if you believe you know everything there is to know about them or if you simply want to learn more about these gentle giants of the sea!
Types Of Manatees
There are three different species of manatees that fall under the scientific family of Trichechus:
- West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) – moves between fresh and saltwater
- African manatee ((Trichechus senegalensis) – moves between fresh and saltwater
- Amazonian manatee (Trichechus inunguis) – found only in freshwater and is the smallest of the species.
The West Indian manatee is the only species that has subspecies, of which there are two:
- Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) – found in U.S. waters
- Caribbean and Antillean manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus) – found from the Bahamas to Brazil
All species of manatees are listed as vulnerable. In an effort to safeguard the species, they are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, the Endangered Species Act of 1973, and the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act of 1978. As such, it is illegal to disturb them in any manner. You are not permitted to feed, harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, annoy, or molest these mammals.
Interesting Facts About Sea Cows
The manatee is a slow-moving mammal that can usually be found in rivers, estuaries, bays and canals where they are able to move freely between salt, fresh, and brackish waters. These areas provide them the abundant vegetation and beds of seagrass that they need as their primary source of food. Read on to discover more facts about these stubby-nosed mammals:
- The manatee is protected by the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act of 1978 and it is illegal to harass or disturb them.
- They prefer to stay in water that is 60 degrees or warmer because they have low metabolic rates and minimal fat protection from cold water.
- Although they can hold their breath for 20 minutes, they prefer to surface about every 5 minutes to breathe.
- Manatees are in the order Sirenia, the same order as the now-extinct Stellar’s Sea Cow, which was the largest member of this order.
- Early explorers claimed to see what they thought were mermaids, which were actually encounters with manatees.