FLORIDA MANATEES ARE NOT AT ALL TERRITORIAL
FLORIDA MANATEES ARE NOT AGGRESSIVE
sometimes in groups
THESE GROUPS CAN HAVE UP TO 20 INDIVIDUALS
when in groups they coordinate their behaviors ..
sleeping .. resting .. breathing .. moving
IN WINTER ..
lots get together in warm areas
DURING THIS TIME
interact a lot
play tag with each other
barrel roll together
EMBRACE EACH OTHER WITH FLIPPERS
florida manatees actually kiss !!! .. they press their lips together .. just as humans do ! ! !
florida manatees are very very very playful !!!
FLORIDA MANATEES DO HAVE LOTS OF SOLITARY TIME
THE BASIC SOCIAL UNIT OF FLORIDA MANATEES
MOTHER AND BABY
THERE IS AN EXTREMELY COMPLEX SOCIAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MOTHER AND BABY
their social bond is extremely strong !
ADULT MALE FLORIDA MANATEES ARE USUALLY QUITE SOLITARY FOR SOME OF THE YEAR
SCIENTISTS DO NOT UNDERSTAND VERY MUCH AT ALL ABOUT FLORIDA MANATEE
FLORIDA MANATEES COMMUNICATE ALL SORTS OF INFORMATION IN SEVERAL WAYS
high pitched squeaks
WHEN FLORIDA MANATEES ARE IN A GROUP THEY OFTEN SURFACE TOGETHER
this is a way for them to keep in physical contact with each other
communicate all sorts of information through physical contact and gestures
TOUCH .. NUZZLE .. SNUGGLE .. a LOT !!!
TOUCH EACH OTHER USING THEIR .. flippers . faces . snouts ! ! !
when they bond with each other they use their sensitive mouths
to communicate information to each other
this communication form is called mouthing
FEMALE FLORIDA MANATEES ARE REPRODUCTIVELY MATURE
BETWEEN 5 - 9 YEARS OLD
usually at about 7 years of age
MALE FLORIDA MANATEES ARE REPRODUCTIVELY MATURE
BETWEEN 6 - 9 YEARS OLD
FEMALES HAVE 1 BABY EVERY 2 - 5 YEARS
occasionally twins are born
GESTATION LAST FOR 13 MONTHS ! ! !
FLORIDA MANATEES HAVE A SLOW RATE OF REPRODUCTION
the adult females and males do not have external reproductive organs
WHEN THE FEMALE IS IN THE REPRODUCTIVE PERIOD OF ESTRUS ..
she attracts a mating herd of potential mates
ABOUT 10 - 20 MALES
the males stay near the female for several weeks
she carefully chooses 1 male as her mate
the period of mating is usually late winter
FLORIDA MANATEES ARE SUPER EXCELLENT MOMS !!
very affectionate .. very protective .. very devoted !!!
AT BIRTH BABY FLORIDA MANATEES
36 - 50 inches long
65 - 70 pounds
BORN WITH TEETH !! .. molars
the food of the baby florida manatee is the mom's milk
THE MOM HAS NURSING NIPPLES FOR MILK LOCATED UNDER FLIPPERS .. CLOSE TO ARMPIT
BORN IN AREA OF STILL CALM AND QUIET SHALLOW WATER
MOM IMMEDIATELY HELPS BABY TO SURFACE TO TAKE FIRST BREATH
IN A FEW HOURS BABY CAN SURFACE ON ITS OWN
then the mom repeatedly dunks the baby ..
SHE TEACHES THE BABY HOW TO SUBMERGE
WHEN THE MOM NURSES HER BABY SHE HOLDS PRECIOUS BABY IN HER FLIPPERS !!!
( just exactly like a human mom does with her little baby )
SHE ROLLS ON SIDE TO MAKE NURSING EASIER FOR BABY
BABY NURSES UNDERWATER FOR 3 MINUTES AT A TIME
mom's milk is very very rich and nutritious
BABY CAN NIBBLE WATER PLANTS A FEW WEEKS AFTER BIRTH
MOST BABIES BORN IN MARCH - APRIL
can swim soon after birth
baby stays really really really close to mom until weaned from mom's milk
baby usually is pressed close right behind mom's flipper !
WEANED ABOUT 18 MONTHS OF AGE
MOTHER PROTECTS BABY WITH HER BODY AS A SHIELD ..
they will swim away from anything she perceives as a threat
SOMETIMES WHEN THEY SWIM THE BABY IS ON THE MOM'S BACK .. CLINGING WITH ITS TINY FLIPPERS !!!
something so beautiful to see .. you would NEVER forget it
MOTHER AND BABY MAKES SOUNDS TO EACH OTHER LIKE COOING OF DOVES !!!
MOMS TEACH THEIR BABIES THROUGH TOUCH ..
BABIES LEARN SO MUCH FROM THEIR MOMS ..
how to find the right food plants ..
where the warm water refuges are located ..
what migratory patterns are used ..
stay with moms for about 2 years
only the mom cares for the baby
IT'S A FASCINATING FACT !
FLORIDA MANATEES OFTEN FLOAT UPRIGHT WITH JUST THEIR SNOUTS SHOWING
ABOVE THE WATER SURFACE
manatees and their cousin the dugong are vegetarians !
manatees are one of 3 types of mammal that live their entire lives in water ..
whales and dolphins are the other 2 !
manatees can stay underwater for about 20 minutes
FLORIDA MANATEES ARE SUPER CURIOUS AND SHY !!!
FLORIDA MANATEES ARE DIFFICULT FOR HUMANS TO SEE IN THE WATER ..
when they surface to breathe .. they float with just tip of snout exposed above the water ..
FLORIDA MANATEES CAN SWIM 30 MILES A DAY
florida manatees can travel 300 miles between their summer and winter feeding and habitation areas
THE STATE MARINE MAMMAL OF FLORIDA IS THE FLORIDA MANATEE !
FLORIDA MANATEES USUALLY SWIM 2 - 3 MILES PER HOUR
they can swim as fast as 15 miles per hour
IN SALT WATER .. BARNACLES ATTACH THEMSELVES TO THE BACKS OF FLORIDA MANATEES
then .. when they move to fresh water .. the barnacles fall off ! ! !
they are excellent and graceful swimmers !!
FLORIDA MANATEES ARE GENTLE AND NON AGGRESSIVE ANIMALS
FLORIDA MANATEES ARE VERY UNUSUAL ANIMALS !!!
THEY CAN MOVE FREELY BETWEEN SALT AND FRESH WATER ! ! !
FLORIDA MANATEES MOVE VERY VERY VERY SLOWLY !!
FLORIDA MANATEES MAKE NOISES THAT HUMANS CAN HEAR
very very cute sounds !!
squeaks and squeals !!!
FLORIDA MANATEES ARE HUGE CONTRIBUTORS TO THE BIODIVERSITY OF PLANET EARTH !
THE ONLY THING THAT EVERY AMAZING ANIMAL IN THE WORLD HAS TO DO TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE ENVIRONMENT
OF PLANET EARTH IS SIMPLY JUST TO BE ALIVE !
AMAZING PLANET EARTH IS LIKE A HUGE SPORTS TEAM .. WITH ALL THE ANIMALS BEING REALLY
REALLY IMPORTANT MEMBERS OF THE TEAM .. ALL EACH ANIMAL HAS TO DO IS JUST BE HERE !!!
JUST DO WHAT THEY DO NATURALLY .. LIVE THEIR AMAZING LIVES !!!
THAT IS ENOUGH !!!
humans thoughtlessly brought an invasive non-native plant to florida called the water hyacinth
it chokes out native plants and takes over !! .. this is very bad !!
THE AMAZING AMAZING FLORIDA MANATEE IS ABLE TO CLEAR WATERWAYS OF THIS INVASIVE PLANT !!
FLORIDA MANATEES ARE HEROES !!!
FLORIDA MANATEES ARE FACING MANY DIFFICULTIES BECAUSE OF INTERACTION WITH HUMANS !
water pollution . collisions with powerboats . habitat loss
THOUGHTLESS ACTIVITIES OF HUMANS ARE HURTING FLORIDA MANATEES !!
FLORIDA MANATEES are protected by the
MARINE MAMMAL PROTECTION ACT of 1972
FLORIDA MANATEE SANCTUARY ACT of 1978
ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT of 1973
MORE HELP IS NEEDED !!
BY THESE LAWS .. HUMANS ARE FORBIDDEN TO TOUCH THEM !!!
but they are still in trouble !
THE STATE OF FLORIDA HAS ESTABLISHED
20 OFFICIAL MARINE SANCTUARIES FOR FLORIDA MANATEES
ABOUT 90 % OF ALL FLORIDA MANATEES HAVE HORRIBLE SCARS ON THEIR BODIES FROM
BEING HIT BY POWERBOAT PROPELLERS !!!
most human interaction with these beautiful beings is NOT GOOD !!!
HUMAN INTERACTION HAS TO BE OF THE TYPE THAT HELPS THEM !!!!