SOCIAL  ORGANIZATION

    FLORIDA MANATEES ARE NOT AT ALL TERRITORIAL

    FLORIDA MANATEES ARE NOT AGGRESSIVE

    MODERATELY SOCIAL
    sometimes in groups
    THESE GROUPS CAN HAVE UP TO 20 INDIVIDUALS
    when in groups they coordinate their behaviors ..
    TAKE TURNS
    sleeping .. resting .. breathing .. moving

    IN WINTER ..
    lots get together in warm areas
    DURING THIS TIME
    interact a lot
    nuzzle
    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
    is
    MOTHER AND BABY
    or
    SOLITARY MALES


    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
 

    COMMUNICATION

    SCIENTISTS DO NOT UNDERSTAND VERY MUCH AT ALL ABOUT FLORIDA MANATEE
    COMMUNICATION  !

    FLORIDA MANATEES COMMUNICATE  ALL SORTS OF INFORMATION IN SEVERAL WAYS
    VOCAL
    high pitched squeaks
    squeals
    chirps
    whistles
    groans

    PHYSICAL
    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
 

    SPECIES  PERPETUATION

    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  !!!
 

    BABY  BYTES

    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
    tail first
    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  !!!
 

    ENVIRONMENTAL  CONTRIBUTION

    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 !!
    but ...
    THE AMAZING AMAZING FLORIDA MANATEE IS ABLE TO CLEAR WATERWAYS OF THIS INVASIVE PLANT !!
    FLORIDA MANATEES ARE HEROES !!!
 

    HUMAN  INTERACTION

    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
    but

    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

    BUT ..
    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 !!!!
 

    WORLD  STATUS

    THE FLORIDA MANATEE IS ENDANGERED AND TERRIBLY IN DANGER
    THEIR HABITAT IS ENDANGERED AND TERRIBLY IN DANGER ALSO
    THE TOTAL WORLD POPULATION OF THE AMAZING FLORIDA MANATEE
    IS
    ONLY ABOUT 1,200  -  1,500  INDIVIDUALS


    HUMAN ACTIVITIES HAVE GREATLY REDUCED THE POPULATION OF THESE AMAZING AND GENTLE BEINGS

    FLORIDA MANATEES ARE PROTECTED FROM HUMANS BY LAWS CREATED BY HUMANS
    BUT
    COLLISIONS WITH BOATS ARE AWFUL   ! ! !

    AGRICULTURAL RUNOFF OF FERTILIZERS AND PESTICIDES ARE VERY POISONOUS
    DANGEROUS SUBSTANCES THAT GET INTO THE WATERS WHERE THE FLORIDA MANATEES LIVE

    MUCH MORE HELP IS NEEDED TO IMPROVE THEIR STATUS
 

    PROBLEMS

    THE FLORIDA MANATEE IS FACED WITH MANY HUMAN MADE PROBLEMS
    even though there are laws to protect them ..  florida manatees are NOT safe !!!
    humans just do not know enough about manatee's lives ..
    so they do not know how desperately in trouble florida manatees are !
    humans just do not know enough about this gentle and wonderful being !!
    humans do not understand florida manatees or have enough respect for them !



    FLORIDA MANATEES NEED  ..
    warm clean water .. sheltered shallow quiet areas with NO humans ..
    undisturbed coves for breeding and birthing


    HUMANS ARE ENCROACHING ON FLORIDA MANATEE HABITAT !
    BUILDING HOUSES RIGHT ON THE WATER AND DISRUPTING THE QUIET THAT THESE GENTLE BEINGS REQUIRE ..
    coastal development is KILLING florida manatees by tearing up their homes !!!!

    florida manatees are being crushed in flood gates and locks .. these are constructed to allow
    humans building of homes in areas subject to flooding .. places where flooding is normal ..
    humans are trying to live in places that are ONLY for wild animals  ! ! !


    HUMAN " RECREATION " IS CAUSING HUGE PROBLEMS FOR FLORIDA MANATEES !
    FISHING
    the beautiful FLORIDA MANATEE can become entangled in fishing gear .. this is so bad !
    any activity that HURTS someone is not FUN  !!  fishing is not fun for ANYONE !

    POWER BOAT PROPELLERS !!
    humans go at extreme speeds and crash into these precious beings and DON'T CARE !!!
    humans WANT WANT WANT every area in the world open to them for play activities .. this is BAD ..
    because animals NEED these areas to live !!!
    HUMAN OPERATED MOTORBOATS ARE NOW THE UNNATURAL PREDATOR OF FLORIDA MANATEES !!!

    NOISE POLLUTION
    human noise from ships .. jet skis .. water skiing boats .. power boats .. cruise ships .. all create NOISE  ! !




    THE RED HOT PROBLEM OF GLOBAL WARMING IS A HUGE PROBLEM FOR FLORIDA MANATEES !
    INCREASE IN WATER TEMPERATURE CAN BE DEVASTATING TO AQUATIC PLANTS ..
    THESE ARE THE FOOD OF FLORIDA MANATEES !!
    commerical release of warm waters into the waters in and around FLORIDA is interfering with plant growth
    that florida manatees need for food !!!
    this can be from sewage discharged into waters or from manufacturing companies releasing waste water




    POLLUTION OF OCEANS !!!!
    GARBAGE .. HAZARDOUS MATERIALS .. TOXINS .. POISONS .. CHEMICALS ..
    all raise water temperatures .. warm water will kill animals indirectly by killing their food
    anything dumped into the water creates harmful dangerous conditions for all marine animals  !!!

    PLASTIC GROCERY BAGS AND MYLAR HAPPY BIRTHDAY BALLOONS
    they get into the water and can strangle and kill animals ..

    BIOLOGICALLY ACTIVE MATERIAL
    hazardous medical waste has been dumped into the oceans and creates health changes to marine animals
    as it would to humans

    PCBs
    POLYCHLORINATED BIPHENYLS
    toxic poisonous man-made compounds persist in the environment
    these compounds used in plastics inks lubricants
    when these are dumped into waterways .. they make their way into oceans ..
    they collect in animal's body tissues

    DDT
    pesticide poison .. banned in United States in 1970's .. still in use in South American and Asia
    gets into water and is poison to all life on planet Earth  !!!

    OIL SPILLS
    oil spills and gasoline and fuel spills are horrible horrible catastrophic problems for FLORIDA MANATEES !!!
    chemicals are absorbed into the bodies of all aquatic mammals ..
    those chemicals slowly release into the florida manatee's milk and make babies sick ! ! !

    HUMAN DIGESTIVE SEWAGE WASTES
    sewage into limestone aquifer under florida via 3000 feet deep wells
    gasses migrate up into GULF OF MEXICO  
    the gasses add heat into the waters

    SEWAGE PLANT DISCHARGE
    discharged into waters .. rich in phosphates and nitrates
    provides food for algae species .. Coulerpa agla
    the algae grow and overpopulate areas and kill plant life in those areas ..
    these are plants that manatees need

    scientists now know that RED TIDE is a problem caused by human pollution
    tiny algae Gymnodinium breve .. Karenia brevis
    they produce a brevetoxin .. poison that collects in mammal bodies .. if inhaled or ingested ..
    this kills florida manatees in epidemic numbers !
 
 
 

    SOLUTIONS

    HUMANS MUST LEARN ALL THEY CAN ABOUT FLORIDA MANATEES !!
    IT IS SUPER IMPORTANT TO COME TO UNDERSTAND MORE ABOUT THIS AMAZING ANIMAL !
    HUMANS MUST RETHINK THEIR FEELINGS ABOUT ANIMALS AND COME TO RESPECT THEM !

    HUMANS NEED TO THINK ABOUT NOT LIVING RIGHT AT THE WATER'S EDGE !
    ANIMALS NEED THE WATER .. HUMANS CAN LIVE ANYWHERE !


    HUMANS HAVE TO BECOME AWARE OF ANIMAL'S NEEDS .. AND TO THINK ABOUT
    HOW THEIR ACTIVITIES CAN HARM ANIMALS AND INTERFERE WITH THE ANIMALS ABILITIES TO
    LIVE THEIR LIVES .. HUMAN PLAY TIME SHOULD NOT HURT ANIMALS !!!

    HUMANS NEED TO KEEP THEIR BOATS OUT OF AREAS WHERE FLORIDA MANATEES LIVE ..
    HUMANS NEED TO SLOW DOWN IN THEIR BOATS ..
    HUMANS NEED TO FIGURE OUT SOME TYPE OF PROTECTIVE DEVICE TO PUT ON BOATS OVER THE
    PROPELLERS TO PROTECT MANATEES


    HUMANS HAVE GOT TO FIGURE OUT WAYS TO REDUCE NOISE POLLUTION !!!
    ANIMALS NEED TO HAVE NATURAL LIVES WITHOUT HUMANS BOTHERING THEM !!


    HUMANS MUST REDUCE THEIR CARBON FOOTPRINT ON THE EARTH ..
    MUST REVERSE GLOBAL WARMING NOW !!!!!

    HUMANS MUST BE CAREFUL WITH GARBAGE AND TRASH .. REDUCE AMOUNTS ..

    NO MORE DUMPING OF ANYTHING INTO RIVERS OR THE OCEANS EVER EVER AGAIN  !!    
    IT HAS TO BE STOPPED !!!
    HUMANS MUST NOT USE POISONS .. NOT USE DDT .. NOT USED PCBs

    HUMANS MUST FIND WAYS NOT TO SPILL OIL
    UNTIL TOTALLY DIFFERENT FORMS OF ENERGY ARE UTILIZED

    HUMANS COULD FIND WAYS TO UTILIZE ALGAE TO PROCESS HUMAN SEWAGE WASTES AND
    AGRICULTURAL WASTES WHICH COULD ACTUALLY CLEAN THE WATER  !


    HUMANS HAVE TO CHANGE THEIR WAYS AND GOD's WILL will IMPROVE CONDITIONS ON PLANET EARTH !


 PRAY AND THANK GOD FOR THE AMAZING MANATEE  !
 

    LANGUAGE - LITERATURE  

    LONG LONG AGO SAILORS THOUGHT THAT MANATEES WERE MERMAIDS  ! ! !

    WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE WROTE ABOUT MANATEES IN HIS PLAY
    A MID-SUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
    HE CALLED THEM  " SEA MAIDS "

    IN 1875 JULES VERNE WROTE ABOUT MANATEES IN HIS BOOK
    THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND

    THE WORD SIRENIA IS FROM GREEK MYTHOLOGY

    IN GREEK MYTHOLOGY THE WORD SIREN WAS A TYPE OF MERMAID

    THE MANATEE MAN
    IS A TEACHER FROM FLORIDA
    NAMED GARY PANE
    HE IS ALSO A SONG WRITER
    HE WRITES BEAUTIFUL SONGS ABOUT MANATEES


    NAME MANATEE MAY BE FROM THE CARIB LANGUAGE
    MANATI .. MEANS " OF WOMAN "


    NAME MANATEE MAY BE FROM SPANISH
    MANO  = HAND
    TENER = TO HOLD


    MANATEES APPEAR ON STAMPS ALL OVER THE WORLD
    THE DUGONG APPEARS ON STAMPS ALSO
 
 
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" The LORD is good to all "
Psalm 145:9
 


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Florida  Manatee
 
" And God saw that it was good "
Genesis 1:25
 
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