Lifeform of the week: Florida manatee
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) featured the above image of a Florida manatee on its Facebook page and said:
In 1493 Christopher Columbus possibly mistook these gentle giants for mermaids. But, they are actually a large plant-eating slow moving aquatic mammal.
Short front flippers help them steer or even crawl through shallow waters and strong paddle-shaped tails propel them. A distant relative of the elephant they have thick, wrinkled skin that is grey or brown in color. An average adult is about 10 feet long and weighs between 1,500 and 2,200 pounds with a life expectancy of about 50-60 years.
The major threats to manatee survival are human activities: boat-related…
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