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15 Amazing Manatee Facts For Manatee Appreciation Day

(INTERESTING ANIMAL FACTS/ABOUT ANIMALS) Today, March 29 is Manatee Appreciation Day! Manatees–sometimes referred to as the cows of the sea–are considered to be a vulnerable species given there are less than 10,000 mature manatees left in the wild. They are a loving, adorable species who need our help. Check out these 15 fun facts and donate to help keep this species alive and well.

1. Manatees are typically very slow animals, but can swim up to 20 mph.
Manatees do body rolls as they play. Photo Credit: Buzzfeed

Photo Credit: Buzzfeed

2. Manatees cannot turn their heads sideways because they only have six vertebrae in their neck.
Manatees can survive in both freshwater and saltwater. Photo Credit: Buzzfeed

Photo Credit: Buzzfeed

3. Their diets consist of water grasses, weeds, and algae. This makes them the only aquatic mammal that is an herbivore.
Manatees are herbivores. Photo Credit: Buzzfeed

Photo Credit: Buzzfeed

4. Manatees can weigh up to 2,000 lbs.
Manatees can weigh up to 2,000 lbs. Photo Credit: Buzzfeed

Photo Credit: Buzzfeed

5. Manatees can live in both saltwater and freshwater.
Manatees are onee of the only mammals that don't eat meat. Photo Credit: Buzzfeed

Photo Credit: Buzzfeed

6. Manatees are credited for being the basis of the mermaid legend.
Manatees can eat up to a 10th of their body weight in a day. Photo Credit: Buzzfeed

Photo Credit: Buzzfeed

7. Manatees never leave the water but must come to the surface to breathe.
Manatees live in water but must surface to breathe. Photo Credit: Buzzfeed

Photo Credit: Buzzfeed

8. Manatees breathe through their nostrils.
Manatees are now in a vulnerable state due to human interactions with their habitats. Photo Credit: Buzzfeed

Photo Credit: Buzzfeed

9. Manatees are born underwater and mothers help their calves to the surface for their first breath.
10. Manatees can eat up to a 10th of their body weight. That would be like a human eating about 15 lbs of food in one day.
Manatees aren't sexually mature and can't start having children until ages 4-7. Photo Credit: Buzzfeed

Photo Credit: Buzzfeed

11. The manatee’s closest living relative is the elephant.
Manatees breathe through their nose. Photo Credit: Buzzfeed

Photo Credit: Buzzfeed

12. Manatees have no natural predators but are still in peril due to watercraft accidents and loss of habitat.
13. Manatees don’t have eyelashes, instead their eyes close in a circular motion.
Manatee, Conservation, Wildlife, Oceans

Photo Credit: dnr.sc.gov

14. Manatees are the state marine mammal of Florida.
15. The two separate parts of the manatee’s lips can move independently from each other to grab food.
Manatee, Conservation, Wildlife, Oceans

Photo Credit: Huffington Post

TAKE ACTION: Donate to help Save The Manatees!

— Cara Meyers, exclusive to Global Animal

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