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The Manatee Is Marine Mammal Of The Week

 

 The Manatee is the Texas Liberal Marine Mammal of the Week.

The Manatee is a large herbivorous creature with a torpedo-shaped body, little hair and thick lips.

The Manatee most Americans are familiar with is the West Indian Manatee. This is the Manatee that lives in Florida. These Manatees also swim up and down the Atlantic Coast up to Long Island and in the Gulf of Mexico as well.

The other two types of  Manatees are the West African Manatee and the Amazonian Manatee.

The West Indian Manatee can wiegh  up to 3000 pounds and live over 60 years. Female West Indians reach 13.5 feet. This is a foot-and-a-half longer than male Manatees.

West Indian Manatees live in temporary groups for purposes of mating or looking for food. Otherwise, W.I. Manatees are likely to be found together only in a mother and calf pairing.

W.I. Manatees spend between six to eight hours a day eating. That’s a long time. They eat sea grasses and sea plants. However, in Jamaica W.I. Indian Manatees have been seen eating fish from nets.

While W.I. Manatees are protected throughout their range, they are still hunted. People eat Manatee meat and use the bones and oil in folk remedies. Manatees also die from collisions with boats, ingesting fishing gear, getting caught in nets and drowning in locks.

We sure have a lot of ways to kill Manatees.

It is estimated that between 3,000 and 4,000 Manatees live in Florida.

Click here for a great New York Times article suggesting Manatees are far more clever than they’ve been given credit for by scientists.

Florida’s Republican Governor Charlie Crist has suggested reducing the level of protected status extended to Manatees. This proposal has come under criticism.  

The Manatee is of the order SireniaThis makes it related to elephants and aardvarks. It is thought that Manatees evolved from land animals.

Since you’re at a political blog, please consider clicking this article about how to help America’s middle class. We need to find a way to live decent lives in the age of the global economy.  

Please click here for other Texas Liberal posts about sea life and marine mammals.

October 18, 2007 Posted by | Sea Life | , , , , | 6 Comments

Will Houston’s New Cardinal DiNardo Be A Strong Voice Against The Death Penalty?

Archbishop Daniel DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston was promoted to Cardinal today by Pope Benedict XVI.

I hope this means Cardinal DiNardo will increase his local profile on issues of social justice. Most especially, I hope we hear from Cardinal DiNardo about the barbaric application of the death penalty in Harris County and in Texas.

The recent immoral behavior of Judge Sharon Keller of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is just the latest outrage.  So-called Judge Keller would not hear the appeal of a soon-to-be-executed death row inmate because it was delivered at 20 minutes after five o’clock. The inmate was executed that evening.

Harris County is a death penalty capital of the world despite the shoddy work done in our county’s criminal lab. No matter what, we keep sending people to death row.

The late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin  of Chicago was a leader in the fight against the death penalty.

I know I’ll disagree with Cardinal DiNardo on many questions. I also know the Houston/Galveston area is in strong need of a voice for social justice and against the death penalty.  

Here is a link to Amnesty International’s anti-death penalty blog.  

October 18, 2007 Posted by | Galveston, Houston, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , | 13 Comments