If you know me personally, you know that I have a huge passion for animals. I have a special spot in my heart for the endangered animals in the world and I see animal extinction as a huge problem in the world that has the potential to be solved. An aquatic mammal not known for its “cuteness” but for its extremely large size and unique features is being celebrated around the world on March 30th. On this day, manatees have their very own 24-hour period dedicated to raising awareness about their own endangerment, as well as for celebrating them as a species. Manatees are one of those animals that are not a very popular pick when it comes to identifying with a favorite animal but they are never the less an essential part of aquatic life. Hunting manatees is illegal, yet they are still slaughtered for their meat and hide, and this often goes unrecognized by the general public. Manatees are also often killed by colliding with boats while they are swimming.
To give the manatees of the world a little more of the love that they deserve, here are some facts about manatees that you might not have known.
- Manatees spend about half of their day eating 10 percent of their weight in plant mass.
- Their only natural predators in the wild are humans.
- They are known for their gentle and slow moving nature.
- The average manatee is about 10 feet long and can weigh anywhere between 800 to 1,200 pounds.
- Manatees live in shallow water, not the depths of the sea.
- Although they are slow, they can swim up to 20 miles in short bursts.
- They are the only aquatic mammals who are herbivores.
They aren’t the cutest creatures in the world, yet their endangerment should strike a red flag across the nation. We need to devote this day to the manatees, the large but gentle mammals. Animal extinction is a real-life problem and these creatures deserve attention.