The Manatees are adorable marine mammals, in matter of fact, they are very sociable creatures and those who have lived a manatee encounter 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 petted. 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 well-being of this marine mammal is important for future generations to get to know them. 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, funny, isn’t it?
- The manatees consume 10-15% of their body weight, a daily, in vegetation.
- 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 teats located under the armpits. This is really out of the ordinary, but cool.
- It is believed that manatees only look closely, but they can differentiate between different colors.
- 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.