The American Manatee has a large body and swims slowly through rivers and shallow seawater. Their number has declined so far from hunting and boating accidents that now they are in danger of extinction.
Body length: 3m (Max.3.9m)
(Source: Doubutsu Sekai-isan* Red Data Animals Kodansha) (*World Animal Heritage)
The American Manatee lives in estuaries and shallow seawaters from the Florida Peninsula of the United States of America to the Caribbean Sea all the way to the northern part of the South American continent.
The American Manatee is an herbivore that feeds on sea grass and other plants that grow in rivers and seawaters.
What look like short arms are actually their pectoral (chest) fins. The American Manatee uses these fins to deliver food such as seaweed to their mouths.
Their only natural predator is people.
The American Manatee is an herbivore that lives in rivers and shallow seawaters. Surprising as it may seem, the American Manatee is thought to have evolved from the same ancestors as the elephant. In fact, the sight of this massive animal chewing plants does resemble an elephant. And because wild manatees have no natural predators, they were never required to be agile. Their only natural predator is people. People have been hunting the American Manatee for their meat and skin since long ago.
Boating accidents threaten their existence...
Although it is currently illegal to hunt the American Manatee, poaching has not stopped. Now, a new problem has surfaced. A growing number of American Manatees are being injured by boat screws or dying after wandering into fishing nets. One survey indicated that almost half the deaths of adult American Manatees were caused by humans.
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