Friday, November 19, 2010

USA - Florida - Manatee

The Manatee or Sea Cow, was once abundant in Florida Coastal waters, but now are an endangered species. As vegetarians they help control the growth of water plants which clog Florida's Waterways.

Sent by Jen, a postcrosser from Florida.

This is from Wikipedia : The Florida manatee, (Trichechus manatus latirostris) a subspecies of the West Indian manatee, is the largest of all living sirenians. Florida manatees inhabit the most northern limit of sirenian habitat. Over three decades of research by universities, governmental agencies, and NGOs, have contributed to our understanding of Florida manatee ecology and behavior, which is more than we know about any other species. They are found in fresh water rivers, in estuaries, and in the coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Females usually have their first calf when they are about 4 years old. Normally they only have one calf every 2–5 years, but there are rare occurrences of twins. The family unit consists of mother and calf, which remain together for up to 2 years. Males aggregate in mating herds around a female when she is ready to conceive, but contribute no parental care to the calf. Florida manatees may live to be greater than 60 years old in the wild. The biggest single threat to Florida manatees is death from collisions with recreational watercraft.

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