Any of a group of plant-eating aquatic mammals found in marine bays and sluggish rivers, usually in thick, muddy water. They have flippers as forelimbs, no hindlimbs, and a short rounded and flattened tail used for swimming. The marine manatees can grow up to about 4.5 m/15 ft long and weigh up to 600 kg/1,323 lb. (Genus Trichechus, family Trichechidae, order Sirenia.)
All three species of manatee are in danger of becoming extinct as a result of pollution and because they are hunted for food. They are the Amazonian manatee (T. Inunguis), found in the River Amazon; the African manatee (T. Senegalensis), which lives in the rivers and coastal areas of West Africa; and the West Indian manatee (T. manatus), which lives in the Caribbean Sea and along the east coasts of tropical North and South America. Only about 2,400 West Indian manatees remain in the main population around Florida; more than 200 died in 1996, poisoned by an algal toxin.
Save the Manatee Club
Any of three species of large, plant-eating, sub-ungulate, aquatic mammals found primarily in shallow coastal waters of the Atlantic Ocean. It...
Manatees and dugongs are the only existing animals in the order of mammals called sirenians. They have a flat tail, paddlelike front limbs, but...
Any of three species (family Trichechidae) of slow-moving, shallow-water herbivorous mammals. Manatees have a tapered body ending in a rounded flip