Florida manatees are fantastic creatures and thanks to the state’s preservation efforts, they have recently been reclassified from an endangered species to a threatened species. One of the only places in the United States for manatee tours is Citrus County, FL and below are some useful facts about the state’s marine animal.
- Manatees are herbivores, and their diet consists of primarily seagrasses and other freshwater vegetation.
- The manatee population is an estimated 6,000 in the state of Florida, which is a huge step up from where they once were.
- Manatees prefer warmer water and rarely spend their time in waters less than 68 degrees.
- In the winter, these animals mainly stick to the Florida coastal waters but will travel as far as the Carolinas and Louisiana in the summer.
- When playing, manatees have been known to body surf or barrel roll in the water.
- Baby manatees, called calves, are born weighing 60-70 pounds and measuring around 3-4 feet long.
- Manatees only breathe through their nose. This is because their mouths are always eating underwater.
- Manatee lungs are two-thirds the length of their body.
- Manatees only have molars, and as they wear down and fall out, new teeth grow in to replace them.