West Indian manatee

Trichechus manatus

Family Trichechidae - mammal, aquatic

Distinguishing
Characteristics
Body large, stout, torpedo-shaped; color grayish; skin with sparse hairs; snout blunt, truncate, stiff bristles on the chin; front limbs paddle-shaped; no hind limbs tail flattened dorsoventrally, round, paddle-shaped; nostrils on the snout; eyes and mouth small; mammary glands located in the armpits of the females.
Similar Species
Only 1 species of manatee occurs in the Gulf of Mexico.
Habitat
Rivers and bays; found in the Gulf when migrating
Maximum Size
3.5 m (11.5 ft)
Other Common Names
sea cow
Previous Scientific Names
Comments
They are very sluggish swimmers and are very cold sensitive which limits their range. There are 2 (possibly 3) subspecies of the West Indian manatee, The Florida manatee (T. m. latirostris) lives mainly in southern Florida, but in the warmer months

 

 

 

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