5 Reasons Why a Manatee Encounter Can Change Your Life
Here are our Top 5 Reasons Why we think a Manatee Encounter Can Change the Way you Think About Them
Manatees are a sight to behold as they lumber through warm waters resembling enormous, grey pillows. After a manatee encounter, you may not be as intimated as you once were.
These beautiful creatures have an egg-shaped head, thick, wrinkly skin, jointed and flexible pectoral flippers, a paddle-shaped tail, and bristly hairs covering their bodies. Their grey body appears brownish-gray in the water, and their gigantic size makes them a unique aquatic sight; snorkeling with an animal that is their size is a rare experience.
These characteristics make their body a spectacle to watch glide along in the waters, and it's why a manatee encounter in Florida should be on your to-do list.
They are extremely docile, do not bite, and have never been known to cause harm. Thus, there is no immediate danger during a manatee encounter. They spend most of their time diving to eat marine flora and lazily relaxing in the water, and they are curious about everything that enters their ecosystem.
Consequently, you can take advantage of their peaceful and inquisitive temperament to spend time with them. In this article, you will find some amazing facts about why you should look forward to a manatee encounter.
1. Check Out Manatee Whiskers
Do you know manatees have whiskers like cats? Yes, you read that right! Manatees are not related to cats but have whiskers like those you have in your domestic cats. The only difference is that while cats have about 12 whiskers, manatees have up to 2000 hairs on their faces.
The whiskers that you have on the manatee’s face are not exactly whiskers. They are tiny strands of hair called vibrissae. They are also about 3000 of these tiny hair strands on their bodies.
On the inside of these hair follicles, there are nerve endings. These nerve endings allow manatees to use these hair strands to explore the world around them.
Except you are very observant, you likely won’t spot these hairs when you look at manatee pictures. Therefore, if you want to see what these “whiskers” look like, we recommend that you search for a manatee encounter near me and see for yourself.
2. Manatees Are Related to Elephants
It’s weird that someone would think manatees are related to elephants. Manatees are mammals, just like walruses and seals. Since they look alike, one would think they are related to seals, walruses, or even dolphins.
Interestingly, these animals are not related to manatees in any way. Although, the elephant is the manatee's most closely related living relative. They have similar extremely thick skin, which may measure more than an inch in thickness. Plus, manatees can have three to four toenails, just like elephants do.
The most interesting part is that manatees have a nose that looks like the trunk of elephants. However, theirs is significantly shorter and wider. However, both animals use their trunks to do something quite similar with trunks. That is, they grab food and draw it into their mouths using their nose(trunks) like elephants.
How do you confirm if this is true? The only way is to have a manatee Florida encounter by yourself. In close range with these animals, you get to experience and see what they look like and how they behave.
3. Manatees Are Like Humans
Yes, you heard that right, these huge sea creatures are like you. Even though they stay in the water, they come to the surface and breathe air.
And when they come to the surface for air, they usually take in a massive amount of air! In a single breath, manatees replace 90 percent of the air in their lungs. Comparatively, the average human replenishes only 10% of the air in their lungs with each breath.
Additionally, manatees are champion breath-holders as they can hold their breath for as long as twenty minutes!
That’s not all; manatees have emotions like humans. If you are lucky to see a mother and her calf during your manatee encounter, you will notice they have the strong mother-child bonds that humans have.
Manatee calves are born underwater and cannot swim on their own. Therefore, the mothers of manatees immediately after birth guide their young and take them to the water's surface so that the young may breathe.
The newborn calves are cared for and raised by their mothers until they can swim and survive independently. If you are close enough and you pay great attention, you may even observe the mothers communicating with their young ones.
This is another great reason why a manatee encounter is a great opportunity that few individuals get to enjoy. Very rarely will you be able to bond with any marine species in the same way as snorkeling or swimming with manatees.
4. Mouthful of Teeth
The manatee's back mouth is home to 24 to 32 molars, which are the only teeth the animal possesses. Interestingly, manatee teeth continue to grow as they age. As they chew with their teeth, they are worn down, and new molars grow in the back of the mouth and progressively move forward.
These new molars replace the teeth that have been lost. This procedure, which begins when the teeth are young and continues throughout the manatee's lifetime, ensures that the animal always has fresh chewing surfaces. The process is similar to that of their elephant relatives; however, they can only do it a maximum of six times throughout their lifetimes.
Even though they have many teeth, manatees do not bite. They consume seagrass and other plant life by crunching on them with their teeth. They are enormous eaters, the ocean's largest herbivore. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, they can measure up to about 13 feet in length and weigh up to 3,500 pounds.
Manatees put their teeth to good use as they devote most of their awake time to feeding. On a daily basis, these large giants eat between 7 and 15 percent of their body weight in vegetation.
To look closely at the mouthful of teeth, you may want to book a manatee encounter near me right now.
5. Manatees Are Fun to Swim With
Manatees are curious creatures who enjoy interacting with humans, which makes them an ideal animal to swim with. Swimming with manatees is almost like swimming with dolphins. You may even be allowed to swim with both dolphins and manatees in some places.
You will have such an amazing dolphin and manatee encounter as it is entertaining to see them glide through the water. Manatees are famous for their maneuver known as a "barrel roll" or body surf, in which the creatures spin in a complete circle.
Watching them enjoy the water and interact with the waves is entertaining. Manatees have to turn their bodies to gaze at anything that captures their attention because they have just six vertebrae in their bodies.
Because of this, interacting with manatees can be a lot of fun because you can tell immediately when they are paying attention to you. Additionally, you can learn a lot by observing how calm and unthreatening they are.
Final Thoughts: Here is What We Learned About Manatees
You have seen some amazing reasons why a manatee encounter is important. Now you know that manatees are very large mammals with many teeth. You also know about their whiskers, snouts, and how they are related to the elephants.
To have a good feel of these things, you must see one of these animals yourself. That is why we recommend that you find a manatee encounter to see how these amazing creatures can change the way you think about them for life.