The Manatees are the gentle giants of the ocean, as a matter of fact they are very friendly creatures, and those who have had the joy of meeting face to face with a manatee can tell you that we are not lying.
We are sure that this cute friends will steal your heart in just seconds, as they love hugs and to be close to humans. Nowadays, these chubby and friendly animals inhabit three regions in southeastern Mexico: in the rivers and estuaries of Veracruz; in the basin of the Grijalva and Usumacinta rivers; in the region comprising the Caribbean coast; and the deep river in Quintana Roo.
In Mexico, the love and concern for the wellbeing of this marine mammal is important. This is why since 1999, every September 7th the National Manatee Day is celebrated; date on which various activities are carried out to raise awareness on the conservation of this species listed under the Endangered Species Act.
If you are a manatee lover like us, we are surely you will like to put an eye on these curious facts about this adorable species:
- They spent most of their time eating, resting and traveling (you would probably like to have a routine like this).
- When the spanish explorers reached Florida, they thought the manatees were mermaids because of the form of its bodies. Funny, isn’t it?
- Manatees consume 10-15% of their body weight every day, also they are herbivores.
- A manatee cannot turn its head sideways, it must turn its whole body. They are our big buddies!
- They normally breathe every 2 to 5 minutes, but can stay submerged for as long as 20 minutes if necessary.
- During the first years, the mother breastfeeds her baby with her nipples located under the armpits. This is really out of the ordinary, but cool.
- Manatees have no natural predators
- The manatees occupy 98% of their lungs for a simple breath.
- They use their whiskers to pick up and eat food. So cute!
- Who would have said so… The manatee’s closest relatives are the elephant and the hyrax (a kind of small woodchuck that lives in the forested areas of central and western Africa).
Now that you know more about the lovely manatees, we invite you to visit them in some of the different habitats that Dolphin Discovery has in the Mexican Caribbean, it will be an experience that you will never forget.