1. Manatees spend most of their time feeding throughout the day and can eat up to 200 pounds of vegetation in one day.
2. As their teeth wear down by grit, sand, and sediment which may be stuck on the vegetation eaten by manatees, they are replaced by teeth that grow in from behind. Manatees do not have front teeth.
3. Manatees use squeaking sounds in order to communicate with one another. These squeaks are often sounded when they are frightened, sexually aroused, or in order to interact with one another.
4. The history of the manatee is still poorly known. Researchers so far only have an incomplete fossil record of sirenians which makes it difficult to describe the relationship betwee manatees and their ancestors.
Jaw bone of a prehistoric manatee.
5. The oldest manatee fossils are found in Jamaica.
6. The bone structure of manatees is actually quite similar to that of toothed whales, seals, and sea lions.
7. On average, a West Indian manatee calf at birth weighs between 60 - 70 lbs and is approximately 4 - 4.5 ft long.
8. The scientific name T. inunguis for the Amazonian manatee literally means "no nails" because this particular species has no toenails on its flippers.
9. Manatees have many different nicknames such as "sea cow", "sea pig", "mermaids", or "sirens".
10. Bahari is the Swahili word for manatee which means "sea man".