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Manatee Feeding Time.  Lettuce Anyone? by AuntDot
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Manatee Feeding Time. Lettuce Anyone? by 


This manatee is being fed in the enclosure where he is staying for recuperation from injury or illness. The location is the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park in Homosassa, Florida. The dark stripes are just shadows from the enclosure’s structure.

Canon EOS Rebel XSi/450D, Canon 55-250 lens at 131 mm

From the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park:
The park serves as a rehabilitation center and refuge for endangered West Indian manatees that have been orphaned or injured in the wild and also for manatees that have been born in captivity. The natural spring environment allows them an opportunity to re-acclimate themselves to a more natural environment before they are returned to the wild.
Description:
A large, seal-like body that tapers to a spatulate tail. Two forelimbs with three or four nails on each. Skin is thick and wrinkled with stiff whiskers on upper lip. Color:Gray or gray-brown. Size: Manatees can grow to 13 feet and weight over 3,000 pounds. Behavior: Gentle and slow moving. Most of their time is spent eating, resting, and in travel. Often shy and reclusive. No system of defense and completely harmless. Sight: Depth perception may be limited. Can differentiate colors. Hearing: Manatees can hear very well despite the absence of external ear lobes. Communication: Manatees emit sounds that are within human auditory range. They make sounds such a squeaks and squeals when frightened, playing or communicating, particularly between a cow and its calf. Breathing: Nostrils are on the upper surface of the snout which close tightly like valves when submerged. Surfaces to breathe every few minutes depending upon amount of activity. Habitat: They can be found in shallow, slow-moving rivers, estuaries, saltwater bays, canals, and coastal areas, particularly where seagrass beds flourish. Range: Within the United States, they are concentrated in Florida during the winter, but can be found in summer months as far west as Louisiana and as far north as Virginia and the Carolinas. The West Indian manatee can also be found in the coastal and inland waterways of Central and South America as far south as Recife, Brazil. Food Source: Aquatic plants. Manatees are completely herbivorous and can eat 10-15% of their body weight daily. History: Manatees are believed to have evolved from a wading, plant-eating animal, and share a common ancestor with the elephant. Problems: Human Related: boat / barge collisions, loss of habitat, crushing or drowning in flood gates, poaching, ingestion of fish hooks and monofilament line, entanglement in crab trap lines, pollution. Natural: Cold related, “red tide”. Legal Protection: Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act, 1978, U.S. Marine Mammal Act, 1972
U.S. Endangered Species Act, 1973

Having lived most of my life in the northeast U.S., I am enjoying retired life in sunny Florida. I enjoy photographing many different kinds of things, but especially flowers and animals, including the beautiful birds found here in Florida. I am currently using a Canon EOS Rebel XSi/450D camera, a Canon 55-250 mm telescopic zoom lens, and a Sony P10 Cyber-shot digital camera. My newest acquisition is a Canon PowerShot SX260 HS, a point and shoot which I will be carrying in my purse.

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Comments

  • Morag Bates
    Morag Batesalmost 4 years ago

    How how super, great detail and so close ! A great experience.

  • It’s wonderful to see these gentle giants up close! Thanks so much, Morag.

    – AuntDot

  • Elfriede Fulda
    Elfriede Fuldaalmost 4 years ago

    Fabulous capture, excellent photography

  • Thank you, elfie. I truly appreciate it.

    – AuntDot

  • sarnia2
    sarnia2almost 4 years ago

  • aussiedi
    aussiedialmost 4 years ago

    well captured Dot

    Di

  • Thank you, Di!

    – AuntDot

  • Monnie Ryan
    Monnie Ryanalmost 4 years ago

    Very unique perspective, Dot — well done!

  • I was lucky that this manatee came up to take a bite and breathe just at the right time for me to get this shot. They are amazing to see.

    – AuntDot

  • (Tallow) Dave  Van de Laar
    (Tallow) Dave ...almost 4 years ago

    very nice shot Dot.

  • Thank you, Dave!

    – AuntDot

  • paintingsheep
    paintingsheepalmost 4 years ago

    How very cool!! And love all the info too!!

  • Thanks! They are so fascinating, Gena. Quiet and gentle and they just swim around very slowly. Since they prefer shallow water, they often get hit by boat motor propellers, as some of the manatees at this park did.

    – AuntDot

  • Quinn Blackburn
    Quinn Blackburnalmost 4 years ago

    what a delightful portrait of this amazing Creature Teacher! I’ve just added her to the “must write about” list :o) wishing you laughter

  • Thank you, Quinn. You might be interested to see my new post here showing the injuries many manatees suffer when they come in contact with boat motor propellers. Man has to do a better job protecting these gentle giants.

    – AuntDot

  • Quinn Blackburn
    Quinn Blackburnalmost 4 years ago

    Him/her/them… silly pronouns :o) wonderfully informative too!

  • JUSTART
    JUSTARTalmost 4 years ago

    great

  • Many thanks, Sylvia!

    – AuntDot

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