I Can Has Cheezburger? Newsletter

Amazingly Little Known Sea Cow Facts To Peak Your Interest

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    Fact One: Manatees can swim as far north as Cape Code!

    While most manatees spend the summer months in the Gulf of Mexico, some vacation all the way up in Cape Cod waters.


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    Fact Two: They use power plant outflows to stay warm!

    As marine mammals, manatees need a temperate environment to survive through the winter. Despite weighing 1,000 pounds or more, manatees do not have a continuous layer of blubber like whales to stay warm. When aquatic temperatures drop below 68 degrees Fahrenheit, they seek higher temperatures.

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    Fact Three: Alligators give manatees the right of way!

    Manatees have no natural predators! This means that they are able to coexist with their neighboring species as peacefully as possible

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    Water - SCUBAPRO

    Fact Four: They grow teeth their whole lives!

    Manatees spend six to eight hours a day eating sea grass and other aquatic vegetation. Their food has tiny granules of sand in it, which gradually wears down their teeth. Eventually, those teeth fall out.

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    Fact Five: Elephants are their closest relatives.

    The manatee's closest living relative is the elephant. Manatees have three or four tiny nails at the end of each flipper, similar to an elephant's toenails. They also have prehensile upper lips, a very shrunken version of an elephant's trunk, that they use their lips to grasp and pull food into their mouths.

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    Fact Six: Manatees regulate their buoyancy with their lungs.

    Manatees' lungs run along their spines on the top of their body. They use their rib cage muscles, to compress their lung volume and make their bodies more dense. They use this mechanism to come to the surface to breathe instead of actively swimming up and down.

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