Florida Manatee Kayaking Tour | 10 Cool Facts About Manatees
Manatees are one of the most incredible sea creatures found in the Southwest Florida coast.
During your kayaking tour in Florida, you’ll see dozens if not hundreds of these beautiful creatures frolicking around at night under the bioluminescent waters.
Here is a list of some of the interesting but lesser known facts about manatees:
- Manatees’ main diet consists of seagrass, algae, and mangrove leaves. Since they eat 10% of their body’s weight on a daily basis, they spend more than 7 hours a day eating.
- One manatee can weigh as much as 1,200 pounds so you can imagine why they are constantly munching!
- Manatees’ lungs are two-thirds the length of their bodies, which allows manatees to stay underwater for 3 to 5 minutes. Unless they are resting, in which case it is usually 20 minutes.
- Did you know manatees are also known as sea cows? Their large bulky bodies may suggest where that name came from. But their overall nature may also have contributed to it – slow, roly-poly, and tendency to get eaten by bigger predators.
- Manatees communicate in chirps and squeaks.
- Female manatees breed once every 2-3 years and usually, only a single calf is born. These baby manatees gestate for 12 months and nurse for up to 2 years.
- There are only two mammals on planet Earth with an unusual number of vertebrae in their necks – tree sloths and manatees. Instead of the usual 7, manatees only have 6.
- Interestingly, the biggest threat to manatees is not a scary sea creature like a shark or whale – it’s the humans! Nearly 50% of manatees’ deaths are caused by humans; most of them occur due to collisions with speeding boats.
- Manatees evolved from the same land animals as elephants over fifty million years ago!
- Just like elephants, manatees are continuously replacing their teeth throughout their lifespan. As their older teeth in the front fall out, new teeth start growing in the back of their mouth.