It all began, as
so many wonderful things do, at Sea World. My third
grade Girl Scout troop had pooled our cookie money,
and bought a “Sea World Sleepover” excursion. Upon
arriving at the park, our troop was assigned to
sleep next to the shark tank—not exactly the dream
of a pack of 8 year-old girls. As fate would have
it, that same night a troop of Boy Scouts was at the
park and willingly swapped sleepover spots with us.
And so, I ended up spending a night with the
manatees. Ever since that trip, it’s been love.
Manatees typically coast along at 5 miles an
hour, but can reach speads of 20 miles per hour in
A resting manatee can remain submerged for up
to 15 minutes
There are 3 species of manatee: West Indian,
Amazonian, and African
Infant manatees can usually swim on their own 1
hour after birth
can't turn their heads! They have 6 (not 7) cervical
vertebrae, so they must turn their whole bodies to
Manatees only significant predator is Man
A manatee can consme about 10-15% of their body
weight in vegetation daily (the average manatee weighs
approx. 1000 lbs)
The elephant and the hyrax are the manatee's
Currently, Snooty, the oldest manatee in
captivily (and likely the oldest manatee in the
world), is 63 years old
Manatees don't have eyelashes, but they do have
For my 20th
birthday, 2 friends of mine made me an adoptive parent
of a manatee. He is a 27 year-old West Indian manatee
named Margarito (named after the Jimmy Buffet song
Researchers from the Save the Manatee Club claim that
Margarito is a curious, friendly, and social manatee.
His main identifier is a missing left flipper, which
was lost due to an entanglement in monofilament
Every winter since 1984, Margarito has traveled to
Florida's Blue Springs State Park. It is
my hope to go out and visit him in December of 2012!
Click the picture for a link to
Margarto's SMC Page!
to feel the manatee love? Here's a list of manatee festivals
so that you
can get down with the Sea Cows!!