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A couple of manatees in love at South jetty, Ft. Pierce, FL
Nikon D70s
F8, 1/640
ISO 400
6/24/09 – 563/151

Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris are gentle and slow-moving spending most of their time eating (they are vegetarians), resting or traveling. Manatees can stay submerged for as long as 20 minutes, taking short naps, but when active and using a lot of energy, they may surface every 30 seconds.

With only about 3,807 individuals (as of February 2009) they are listed as endangered. Manatees are related to elephants and found throughout freshwater rivers, springs, and shallow coastal waters of Florida and adjacent states.

The average weight and length is 1,000 pounds and 10 feet, but can reach as much as 3,000 pounds and 13 feet and can live to be 60 years old. At birth calves weigh 66 pounds and are 4 feet long.

Reproduction rate is very slow as females aren’t able to reproduce until they are 5-9 years old and aren’t sexually mature until age nine, then only give birth to one calf every 2 – 5 years. The gestation period is about 13 months and the calves will stay dependent on mom for about 2 years.

The manatee is protected under federal law by the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and the Endangered Species Act of 1973, which make it illegal to harass, hunt, capture, or kill any marine mammal. They are also protected under the Florida Marine Sanctuary Act of 1978 which states “It is unlawful for any person at any time, intentionally or negligently, to annoy, molest, harass or disturb any manatee.”

All photos © Donna Adamski and may not be used, copied, reproduced, modified, transmitted, stored, printed, downloaded, or transferred in any way or form without written consent. Any exploitation of the content, for personal or commercial use, whether in whole or in part, without express written permission is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved. My images do NOT belong to the public domain.

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  • Scott  d'Almeida
    Scott d'Almeidaover 5 years ago


  • Thank you much Scott :)

    – Donna Adamski

  • David Friederich
    David Friederichover 5 years ago

    Yes, awesome, Donna. What a bonus to capture “a couple…in love”. Thank you for sharing info on this amazing and rare animal. I am so glad they are protected.

  • David you would have loved it. I watched them for a couple of hours. I first saw 2 and then someone came up to me and told me where another was….I went and it was gone!!! Turned out they (4 in all) got together, back where I had been and just hung out for awhile. Then a young one showed up (the bottom pic)! These are the first pics I’ve ever gotten of manatees…so exciting. Thanks my friend :)

    – Donna Adamski

  • kathy s gillentine
    kathy s gillen...over 5 years ago

    Fantastic capture

  • I was happy to get this one!! Thanks Kathy :)

    – Donna Adamski

  • jesika
    jesikaover 5 years ago

    A wonderful, gentle image

  • Thanks so much Jesika :)

    – Donna Adamski

  • Isa Rodriguez
    Isa Rodriguezover 5 years ago

    truly a treasure of a shot. it is so aw!!. and what great info.. thanks for those notes.. !!

  • I watched them for a couple of hours…so fascinating!! Thanks sweetie :) Hugzzz

    – Donna Adamski

  • Oncemore
    Oncemoreover 5 years ago

    Great capture

  • Thank you bunches Vanessa :)

    – Donna Adamski

  • Karen  Moore
    Karen Mooreover 5 years ago

    Donna, this is remarkable, I spent a day in my boat with at least 20 manatees around and every shot I got was of the water after they went back down. I was so frustrated. On the day I did not bring my camera because I had the dog with me and I have to watch her close in the boat the manatees came up to the boat and let me pet them several times. This is wonderful, great shots ! I love manatees. They are such awesome creatures to get to see in the wild.

  • I got a lot of those shots too!! LOL They are awesome….20? Wow that is so cool, I saw about 5 or 6 including one younger one. Thanks so much Karen :)

    Ooops sorry!!!

    – Donna Adamski

  • Delany Dean
    Delany Deanover 5 years ago

    It is SO difficult to get a good photograph of a manatee! This is marvelous!!

  • It is tough!!! LOL Thank you Del :)

    – Donna Adamski

  • Shelby  Stalnaker Bortone
    Shelby Stalna...over 5 years ago

    wow what a wonderful capture.

  • Thank you much Shell….appreciate it :)

    – Donna Adamski

  • Twisted01
    Twisted01over 5 years ago

    What an amazing capture Donna. Truly beautiful.

  • They are wonderful creatures. Thanks so much Jay :)

    – Donna Adamski

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