Sirenia. Cetaceans Toothed Whales Baleen Whales Dolphins Porpoises Sirenia Manatee Dugong Steller’s Sea Cow. Pinnipeds True Seals Fur Seals Sea Lions Walrus Mustelidae Sea Otters River Otters Polar Bears Ursus Maritimus. Marine Mammals.
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This group of Sea Mammals is probably responsible for most of the stories and fantasies about Mermaids.
Today the inspiration for these magical creatures are in danger of becoming extinct.
Dugong dugon (Dugong)
The smallest of the manatees.
6 feet long with an average weight of 650 to 800 pounds
The Amazonian Manatee is the only manatee that lives solely in fresh water three to six feet deep, but can dive to depths of 20 feet.
These gentle mammals are found throughout the entire Amazon basin including lakes, rivers and tributaries.
Floating grass Meadow
Giant Water Lily
These fresh water manatees eat about 10% to 15% of their body weight in water plants daily.
They “Gum” their food
Florida manatees range
By Richard Butler for the Virginia Aquarium