Learn About Manatee | Frequently Asked Questions

We hope you enjoy learning about manatees

What is a manatee?
Manatees are large marine mammals that are sometimes called sea cows. They have paddle-like tails and flippers and weigh 900 to 1200 lbs. Manatees are usually 9 to 10 feet in length but sometimes can grow to 15 feet. Females are often larger and heavier than males.

What do manatees eat?
Manatees will eat over 60 different freshwater and saltwater plants. They commonly eat up to 10%-15% of their body weight each day. To consume that much food, they can graze for up to 7 hours per day and are known to eat small fish.

Where do manatees live?
Manatees live in the coastal areas and rivers of Florida, the Caribbean Sea, West Africa, and the Amazon Basin. They live in warmer waters due to their low metabolic rate.

How long do manatees live?
Manatees are understood to live up to 60 years in their natural habitats. The oldest manatee born in captivity was named Snooty; he lived to the age of 69 before an accident at the aquarium had claimed his life.

How do manatees reproduce?
They typically breed every other year, and in most cases, give birth to a single calf weighing around 66 lbs. Their pregnancies last about 12 months, and the calves are then usually weaned for 12 to 18 months.

Further Reading
You can find additional information about manatees from Wikipedia.