Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Siernia
Family: Trichechidae
Genus: Trichechus
Species: Trichechus man
Subspecies: Trichechus manatus latirostris

 

 

 

 








 


Fun Facts

 



 

Scientists also recognize two subspecies of West Indian manatee: T.m. latirostris, the Florida manatee, and T.m. manatus, the Antillean manatee.






 

 

 

A new baby manatee, called a calf, can be as large as 70 pounds and 4 feet in length. 


 




 

 
The babies are born a much darker color then the mother, and are able to see, swim, and hear right away.


 

 

 

 

 

Manatee calves are also born with a full set of teeth, and have to teach themselves, with the help of their mother, to hold their breath for long periods of time.


 

 

 

 

Manatees have well-developed eyes. In the water, they can detect objects from tens of meters away. A manatee's retinas contain both rod and cone cells, indicating that they probably have the ability to see both dim and bright light.



 

 

 

Recent tests suggest manatees can distinguish between blue and green colors, although the full extent of their color vision is unknown and more studies are needed.



 

 

The West Indian Manatee emit sounds underwater for communication with one another. They may produce vocalization while expressing fear, anger or even sexual arousal.




 

 

 

The manatee is commonly referred to as a sea cow, and has earned the name based on the fact that the majority of its life is spent grazing on sea grasses.


 

Manatees, the gentle, semi-social creatures that they are seem to be the center of much lore and may be responsible for the stories of legendary mermaid sightings.


More Fun Facts!