Manatees The Forgotten Mermaid. Janae Barrett. Figure 9.1. Figure 9.13. Classification:. Kingdom- Animalia Phylum- Chordata Class- Mammalia Order- Sirenia Includes 5 species. 1. West African Manatee. Range is the ‘crook’ of Africa’s west coast Senegal & Angola mostly
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Mammary glands at corner of each flipper
Nurse 1 offspring at a time for 1-2 years
Gestation period of about 1 year
Can hold breath for 20 min because of huge lungs on their dorsal side = can breathe easily on land too
Front flippers are strong so they can drag themselves across shallow areas when water level is low
70 + year lifespan
Breathe air with lungs
Bear live young
Tough, thick skin
Whiskers, called vibrissae, which serve as a sensory nerve function.
Head is rounded
Have a small mouth, & eyelids
Very dense bones = heavy underwater to help them sink to feedMajor Characteristics
Current Causes of Decline
1. Hit by boaters, & other harassment by humans
Inland locations are aquariums or research facilities.
Sea World, Orlando- has special pool with lift at bottom to raise them out of water enough to allow for procedures, etc.
Lowry Park Zoo, Tampa- Vet. Dept has saved 80 indiv. since 1991- designed a neoprene suit to keep them warm while they recover
Save the Manatee Club (assoc. with Audubon Society)- public education, Manatee Awareness Program for boaters, etc.
Surveys ID animals by cuts & injuries & other skin markings- almost ALL adults have some scarring
-skeg on boat motors does the damage not the propeller
Radio-tagging by wrapping around the tail rise