Florida Manatee Facts for Kids

The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) is one of the subspecies of West Indian manatee. It swims in the Florida waters. The manatee travels great distances. Florida manatees are one of the largest herbivorous mammals in North America.

Adult manatees average 11.5 feet in body length and weighs as much as 2,200 pounds.

Like other manatees, Florida manatees have quite small eyes which are in complete contrast to their massive size.

Florida manatees make habitats in lagoons, canals, and rivers. They prefer to make homes in waters which are rich in floating vegetation.

The Florida manatflorida manatee factsee is native to the southeastern United States much less Florida. They are found in San Carlos Bay, Estero Bay, and Lake Okeechobee.

Florida manatees eat aquatic plants, mangroves, shoreline vegetation, cordgrass, Cuban shoal grass as well as algae. They will spend 3 – 4 hours a day searching for food.

Florida manatees are not really social animals. They travel but in small groups. However during the breeding season the group size may consist of as many as 50 individuals.

Manatees do numerous activities each day. They will play, touch, and sometimes chase each other. Florida manatees are extremely intelligent animals.  

Florida manatees produce a range of different sounds such as squeaks, squeals, chirps, groans, and grunts.

They come to the surface every 15 minutes to breathe. During swimming the manatee’s nostrils’ prevent the water from entering into the manatee’s body.

Manatees move to warmer waters during the winter season. Florida manatees swim at a speed of 4 – 6 miles per hour but they can achieve a speed of 15 miles per hour over short time.

Female produces one calf after attaining maturity at 5 or 6 years age.

The Florida manatee can live up to 30 years in captivity but scientists claim that the manatees can live as long as 60 years in the wild.

There are no natural predators of manatees except for humans and possibly sharks.

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