1. Manatees eat up to 200 pounds of sea grasses and greenery per day! Weighing up to 1,200 pounds, these herbivores spend almost half of their day eating plants.
2. Manatees surface every three to five minutes to breathe. The longest that they can hold their breath is 20 minutes!
3. Manatees are very closely related to elephants. Fossil records show that manatees and elephants evolved from the same land animals over 50 million years ago!
4. Throughout the summer months, it is possible to spot a manatee in the Chesapeake Bay. Manatees are seasonal visitors as they travel up the East Coast from Florida.
5. They need our help! Manatees are listed as vulnerable by the World Conservation Union’s Red List of Threatened Species. As you might have guessed, their vulnerability status is due to human activity—specifically, powerboat collisions and residential and commercial development along rivers and waterways.
Find out what you can do to help these amazing mammals by visiting the Defenders of Wildlife website.