Wednesday, April 16, 2008

ABC Wednesday: "M" is for Manatee


For ABC Wednesday this week I have chosen one of the most gentle creatures on earth - the manatee.


Manatee sculpture at Sea World, Orlando, FL

The West Indian manatee is also known as the sea cow. Manatees today are found mainly in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, and coastal rivers and estuaries of South America, Central America, and Southeaster North America. (The manatee is a close relative to the dugong, which is native to the eastern hemisphere.)


The Florida manatee is a subspecies of the West Indian manatee and has been protected by the state of Florida since 1893. It was declared an endangered species in 1967 and the best estimates are that there are currently no more than 3,000 of these gentle creatures left alive in the wild.

They have no natural predators and spend most of their time lazily swimming and floating around the warm shallow waters of the coast, estuaries, and rivers eating vegetation. They move slowly and spend most of their time submerged below the surface, making them difficult to see until you are right upon them, which leads to many encounters with speed boats driven by humans. It is quite common to see manatees with scars on their backs or large chunks of their tails or fins missing - victims of the powerful screws of speeding motor boats. The manatee below is missing most of its tail for just that reason.

With their population dangerously low and under constant threat by developments that destroy their habitats, there are many organizations today that endeavor to save the manatees, such as http://www.savethemanatee.org.


So remember, if you are out in a motor boat where there may be manatees - slow down and obey the signs.

Enjoy other ABC Wednesday blogs by visiting Mrs. Nesbitt's Place: http://mrsnesbittsplace.blogspot.com/

30 comments:

Sharon said...

awesome pics ;)

ellen b. said...

thanks for this educational M! the
Manatees are cute in an odd way! :)

dot said...

I've never seen such! Very unusual and strange looking.

Andrée said...

What a beautiful post. I learned a lot, which I always enjoy. They are beautiful animals and I am praying that they can be saved.

http://meeyauw-pad.blogspot.com/2008/04/abc-wednesday-m-is-for-morgan-mare.html

Autumn said...

Oh what a beautiful animal. Thanks for the information on them.

Müge Tekil said...

Good photos. Especially the first one is great :) Very original, creative, interesting and informative post. Bravo!

Lana G! said...

Alan, the manatee is just wonderful. What a great post. Thanks for information!

leslie said...

They really are rather strange looking, but once you realize they're really quite gentle, it would be fun to swim with them.

ArneA said...

Good information. Sea cows? Dangerous pets, but may be not as difficult as MrsNesbitts dogs

Blue said...

Marvalous post.
I've yet to see a manatee, but have heard how gentle they are for their massive size.

Ida said...

Great ABC post! :)Nice shots.
Cute and charming animal. ;)

quintarantino said...

Great photos from the manatee, a very lovely animal whom is said gave birth to th myth of sirens!

Liz said...

I'd like that life! Beautiful creatures. So sad that they suffer at our hands.

Picturing of Life said...

awsome...

Hope you have time visit my M Thanks

Andrea said...

I have never seen a Manatee. Very unusual looking. Interesting post. I enjoy going to other peoples blogs and learning something now. Thanks.

Judy said...

Thanks for showing a Manatee, I too have never seen one.

Petunia said...

This is a great post. I don't know much about this animals so thank you for the information:)

Petunia's ABC

RuneE said...

I had heard of the sea cow (we don't have the either), but not of the Manatee. ABC wednesday is great for learning something new!

PS I think the mushrooms are edible, but I make no guarantee!

Neva said...

What a great post! I love these animals.....so nice. Hope you have a chance to visit me here or here!

photowannabe said...

Thanks for the great pictures of these wonderful creatures. They are really gental giants.

BumbleVee said...

gentle giants indeed.... and kind of cute in a strange way if you know what I mean.... ...like a ..walrus...

Sharon said...

Thank you for this! I have been interested in these gentle creatures for some time. Those are wonderful pictures.

Diana said...

what a cutie in that first pic!! good M.

Katney said...

Thank you for all the manatee information. How did you get those pictures--do you dive or snorkel with an underwater camera? Cool!

AVCR8TEUR said...

Manatees are unique looking creatures. I wasn't aware careless boaters cause so much destruction. Thank you for the educational information.

Dragonstar said...

Excellent and informative post John. Thank you so much.

Dragonstar said...

Sorry! I was distracted at the wrong moment! I didn't mean to give you the wrong name, I just find it hard to have a conversation and type at the same time.

Janet said...

Fantastic creatures! This was a wonderful choice for M.

becky voyles said...

The 1st pic of the manatee was too funny. I didn't know what it was. Made me smile. Good post.

mrsnesbitt said...

When i first saw the first picture I thought it was a finger!
Great post. Love the information we receive on a Wednesday.

Sorry I am a bit late, been sorting out the blogroll.

D