Texas Liberal

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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 | , , , ,


  1. Yes! Manatee’s rule. Check out this adorable clumsy manatee:

    Comment by Will | October 18, 2007

  2. Florida’s Republican Governor Charlie Crist has suggested reducing the level of protected status extended to Manatees

    WHY? I hope he’s scrutinized as well

    Comment by geo | October 18, 2007

  3. The Cincinnati Zoo sports a manatee or two. It’s very relaxing to watch them leisurely roll over and over and over, etc. I’m not sure they have enough space, though. And, yes, they should be protected, be they in Florida canals or in a zoo tank.

    Comment by Newton | October 18, 2007

  4. It breaks my heart to watch a show on manatees. Why? Because almost every one of the docile beasts bear the marks of encounters with speedboats.

    Comment by Laz | October 18, 2007

  5. Geo—Some suggest the Governor is acting at the request of the boating industry.

    Newton—I don’t feel a zoo is a good home for the manatees.

    Laz–Yep,everyone of them. You’re right.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | October 18, 2007

  6. How do i find a program that i could get involved with manatee rehibilitation? If you could e-mail me aT brittanytay99@yahoo.com thanks everyone!


    Comment by Brittany Tay | November 5, 2007

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