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Manatees in Crystal River, Florida: Endangered Species A.k.a. Sea Cows

Education does not end when leaving school. It is an ongoing process that certainly makes life more enjoyable. I hope you enjoy this!

Photo of Manatees

Photo of Manatees

When visiting a friend who lived in Crystal River, Florida, my mother, niece, and I saw a manatee also called a sea cow for the first time in person. These large lumbering, curious, intelligent, and friendly creatures are also endangered species.

According to a Wikipedia link, "Fossil remains of Florida manatee ancestors date back about 45 million years."

These curious and intelligent mammals are similar to dolphins in that they seem to like humans. For that reason, some people like to swim with them. There are Crystal River manatee tours that one can take.

Manatee from Crystal River, Florida

Manatee from Crystal River, Florida

Manatees

It is the West Indian manatee whose habitat is primarily the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Not surprisingly, the Amazonian one frequents the Amazon Basin, and the West African manatee habitat is in West Africa.

The ones who come to Crystal River and the Homosassa River in Florida (both places that we got to see while visiting my friend) can live to be 60 years old. Manatees call these rivers home for much of the year.

No matter where they typically congregate, they cannot live in water temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius). In the spring-fed waters of Crystal River, year-round temperatures are around 72 degrees.

Naturally, the springs that feed into these waters are colder, and when swimming in these crystal clear waters, there is little doubt when one passes over one of those springs emanating from the base of the river. Brrr! They are much colder!

Another Florida river in which manatees like to gather is the Chassahowitzka.

Habitat and Boating

There is a prime problem concerning manatee habitat and human interaction. Manatees are herbivores and graze in shallow waters anywhere from 3 to a little over 6 feet (1 to 2 meters) in depth. But this creates a problem co-existing with humans who like boating.

Even though the waters where these creatures reside are marked, boaters often ignore the slow speeds posted. Their propeller blades often strike them and injure them. Some manatees have multiple dozens of scars (50...60!) and, due to infections or worse, some do not survive. Just imagine the pain that they must endure!

Manatees hear higher frequencies than the typical boat motors emit, so they cannot protect themselves from injury. It is up to us humans to watch out for them instead.

My mother, niece, and I saw the most manatees in Homosassa Springs, where many of them were in a sheltered area where they could heal from their injuries by careless boat operators. The boat operator taking us on a tour of the Homosassa River was careful to monitor his speed. He ratcheted up his boat speed once we were in waters where they were no longer prevalent. It is a simple enough thing to do to care for our fellow earth creatures and, in particular, ones already endangered!

Facts

Over 60 million years or so, scientists believe that manatees evolved from four-legged mammals that once roamed certain areas of the earth on land. They are of a similar species to the elephant.

Evolution changed their bodies after spending more of their time in aquatic environments. They no longer have the weight-bearing legs to support them on land. Instead, they have paddle-like flippers, which serve them better in water.

Unlike fish with gills, manatees still need air in which to breathe. The most amount of time they can stay underwater without resurfacing for a breath of air is approximately 20 minutes. Resurfacing for air is necessary even while they are asleep, as one of the videos nicely portrays, and they spend about half of their time sleeping in the water.

Manatees are of three types. There is the Amazonian, the West Indian, and the West African. The average weight ranges from almost 900 pounds to 1200 pounds (400 - 550 kilograms). If measuring manatees from head to tail, the averages are from a little over 9 to almost 10 feet (2.8 to 3 meters), with some larger ones getting up to 12 feet (3.6 meters). If one sees one in the water, they can hardly go unnoticed!

Attenborough: Bad Breath from the Gentle Sea Cow - Life of Mammals - BBC

Endangered Species

In addition to careless boat owners, other things threaten these gentle giants.

Manatees only breed every two years, with gestation lasting a year. The weaning of a calf takes from one to one and a half years. Thus these large aquatic mammals are not exactly reproducing like rabbits! At the current rate of reproduction and death, this endangered species does not have a rosy outlook.

Habitat destruction always takes a toll.

Sometimes human objects like fishing lines or other ingested objects get stuck in their intestines, causing their slow demise.

Most often, predators are not a problem, but occasionally a very hungry alligator, crocodile, or shark may kill one for food.

Certain types of algae proliferation (commonly called a red tide) causes oxygen depletion from the water resulting in deaths.

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster in 2010 and its effect on the population is probably too soon to know.

While we cannot control contributing factors like temperatures and diseases that might impact them, it is within our power to see that our oceans and rivers are pollution and trash-free. Certainly, boaters can slow down so that the vast amount of injuries and deaths in Florida no longer occur!

These creatures need to be protected in Florida and elsewhere around the globe where they congregate so that future generations will be able to see them and all of us can live in earthly harmony. All of the creatures on this earth are interrelated, and the death of any species is sad. But it can impact us in ways that may take a while to be determined. It is rarely good news when that happens.

Some of the places in Florida where manatees congregate

Sources:

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Peggy Woods

Comments are always welcomed.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 19, 2021:

Hi John,

I am pleased that you enjoyed reading this article about the manatees. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 19, 2021:

Hi MG,

Manatees are fascinating creatures! They should survive if the people around them in boats are careful and if environmental disasters do not foul our waters.

John Murphree from Tennessee on March 19, 2021:

This is a wonderful article; thank you for writing it.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 19, 2021:

Hi Allan,

I would not necessarily use the adjective cute, but they do seem to be docile animals. As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Ha!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 19, 2021:

Hi Robert,

Thanks for your comment on this article about manatees. Stay well!

MG Singh emge from Singapore on March 19, 2021:

What a wonderful article in a world surrounded by the morbid China virus. I hope these lovely animals can survive.

Allan on March 18, 2021:

Cute rascals aren't they. Enjoyed reading about the manatees.

Robert Sacchi on March 18, 2021:

You're welcome. Stay well in Houston.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 18, 2021:

Hi Robert,

Getting to see those manatees was a real treat.

Thanks for your comment.

Robert Sacchi on March 18, 2021:

Yes, I can see where that would be a wonderful experience.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 18, 2021:

These amazing creatures are gentle giants. It was fun getting to view them while in Florida.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 26, 2018:

Hi Robert,

The type of manatee that we got to see in Florida naturally lives there in the Gulf of Mexico and the Carribean.

Robert Sacchi on August 26, 2018:

A very interesting article about manatees. I wonder how they got here?

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 07, 2014:

Hello Tolovaj,

You are correct. Manatees were thought to be mermaids by some accounts. Glad you enjoyed this information about them.

Tolovaj on September 06, 2014:

Very fascinating creatures. If I remember correctly, there is a theory sea cows inspired legends about mermaids. Thanks for all this interesting info!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 18, 2014:

Hi Shyron,

I do not know anything about those murders in Crystal River but glad it made you think of the manatees in that area. Thanks for your votes and the share.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on July 16, 2014:

I came back to read this again, I just saw a story about them last night on TV, combined with the Crystal River murders.

Thumbs up, UABI and shared

Blessings and have a good night

Shyron

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 03, 2014:

Hi Shyron,

I share your hope for the future of manatees! Hope you get to see them in person someday. Thanks for the votes and shares.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on July 02, 2014:

Peggy, this is such an interesting hub, I do hope they don't become extinct, I would love to see a manatee up close.

Thumb-up, UABI, pinned to Amazing HubPages and shared.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 22, 2013:

Hi dwelburn,

These are gentle animals and you are correct that the Crystal River area of Florida is certainly a lovely place. Thanks for your comment.

David from Birmingham, UK on December 22, 2013:

These are lovely animals. So gentle and peaceful. And such a lovely place too.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 12, 2013:

Hi LKMore01,

What a nice compliment from you! So glad that you liked this. :))

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 12, 2013:

Hi Crystal Tatum,

Yes...manatees are beautiful and majestic in their own special way. :)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 12, 2013:

Hi Rajan,

Nice to know that reading this hub taught you something new. Manatees are gentle and interesting creatures. Hopefully boat owners will slow down and obey speed limits where the manatees swim so that they are not injured by the boat motor propellers. That is certainly easy enough to do! Thanks for the share.

LKMore01 on June 11, 2013:

Peggy W,

As a former Floridian I can confidently comment this is a compassionate wonderfully accurate and fully researched HUB. Incredible piece. Loved every aspect of your article.

Crystal Tatum from Georgia on June 11, 2013:

Such beautiful, majestic creatures!

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 11, 2013:

This is the first time I'm learning about Manatee, the sea cow. It indeed is lovely to look at and it is a pity that humans do not take care to protect these ancient species of animals.

Voted up and interesting and shared.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 22, 2013:

Hello c mark walker,

So happy to hear that you enjoyed this hub regarding manatees. Those crystal river waters are just that...crystal clear! Amazing. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 22, 2013:

Hi moonlake,

Glad to know that you liked this hub about the manatees and thanks for the share. The pin button seems to be working now.

Charles Mark Walker from Jasper Georgia on May 21, 2013:

wonderful article, I love Florida and love reading about manatees and clear springs. Your article is very informative and well put together.

moonlake from America on May 21, 2013:

I hit the shared. Your pin button is not showing up on this hub.

moonlake from America on May 21, 2013:

Adding this to my board in Pinterest.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 24, 2013:

Hi Angelo,

Nice that you get to see glimpses of the manatees in your area of south Florida on the east side. They are magnificent sea creatures. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 23, 2013:

Hi moonlake,

I remember the feeling of excitement and also amazement the first time that I got to see manatees in Florida. So I can appreciate hearing about your daughter's enthusiasm at first spotting them. Thanks for your comment + share.

Angelo52 on March 23, 2013:

Great article! Loved to read it. The east coast of Florida has manatees also. Once in a great while I will catch a glimpse of them in the A1A.

moonlake from America on March 23, 2013:

Our daughter was visiting in Fla when she was a teen and got everyone excited when she spotted a manatee in the canal by their condo. She called us so excited to tell us about it. Voted up and shared.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 06, 2013:

Hi Bill,

I already added your hub to my other hub about the vintage postcards from Weeki Wachee Springs but will also add your Kayacking Weeki Wachee Springs and viewing the manatees to this hub. Your photos are so fantastic as always. Thanks for the addition of my hubs to yours and thanks for the votes and shares.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on February 06, 2013:

Peggy. What a wonderful Hub. I absolutely loved the videos, especially the manatee scratching its back on the river bottom. We went to Homosassa Springs many years ago and saw the manatee there as you described. Maybe we'll get up to the Crystal River next time. I added this Hub and your other one of Florida to my Weeki Wachee kayaking hub. Many thanks. Voting up, sharing, etc, etc.....

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 31, 2013:

Hi Au fait,

Yes, it is a shame that manatees suffer the consequences of being injured by boaters who do not follow the rules when in waters frequented by the gentle manatees. Thanks for sharing this hub with others who may know little about these large gentle creatures.

C E Clark from North Texas on January 30, 2013:

You might be surprised at how many people have no respect for the lives of different species, which comes to mind when you mentioned the boaters who speed even when warned not to. There seems to be getting to be more and more people who have no consideration for others whether they are animals or people.

A great hub for bringing attention to the plight of manatees and for helping people learn more about them. Gave you 5 stars, and voting up, interesting and useful. We all need to have more consideration for each other and for other species. Will share this important hub!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 23, 2012:

Hi sweetie1,

Manatees are only found in certain areas of the world so it is not surprising that you may have never seen one. Too bad about the decline of eagles due to loss of habitat in your area. That is happening to many animals around the world. Thanks for your comment.

sweetie1 from India on November 21, 2012:

This is wonderful hub. I have never heard of Manatees before. I remember there were countless birds of prey like eagles in Delhi when I was kid but now with loss of their habitats, I hardly ever see them, may be one in few months.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 07, 2012:

Hello Express10,

Nice to know that you learned something about Manatees and also the Crystal River area in Florida. Thanks for your comment.

H C Palting from East Coast on April 07, 2012:

I didn't know they can live so long. Thanks for the info about the Crystal River tours. Voted up and useful.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 14, 2011:

Hello experience days,

If you visit the area around Crystal River in Florida you are sure to see some manatees. Thanks for your comment and enjoy your trip.

Sarah Firmin from England, UK on October 14, 2011:

I love manatees - In the UK we only get seals, but hoping to see some real manatees soon when i'm visiting florida :-)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 10, 2011:

Hi Billy,

Hopefully the manatees are living in Crystal River and other locales unaffected by the BP oil spill in the Gulf. Crystal River is fresh water so that probably helps.

billyaustindillon on August 09, 2011:

Haven't seen a Manatee story for a while I wonder if that has much to do with the BP Gulf disaster?

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 08, 2011:

Hi GmaGoldie,

Manatees do look like oversized and mis-shaped lovable dolphins in a way. I can understand your reference point. Here is to keeping the manatees safe and protected so that they can safely co-exist with humans in a friendly environment long into the future. Thanks for your comment.

Kelly Kline Burnett from Madison, Wisconsin on May 08, 2011:

I call the manatee the teddy bear dolphin - beautiful animals and yet the public has very little knowledge. Very well done.

Love teddy bear dolphins!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 11, 2011:

Hello marshacanada,

Getting that close to a manatee in Florida must have been startling but also a thrill when you were kayaking. You certainly seem to have a wide variety of interests and do some interesting things while traveling! Thanks for the comment.

marshacanada from Vancouver BC on February 11, 2011:

Many Thanks Peggy W. I checked your hub after you kindly encouraged my hubs. I really liked your informative Manatee hub with great videos. I was kyaking with a friend in a coastal park off the south easy coast of Florida many years ago. Suddenly one of these gigantic creatures swam under my kyak. It was gone in an instant but left a lasting impression.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 15, 2011:

Hi Billy,

I don't think that a hurricane caused that manatee to end up in the Houston Ship Channel. Not sure why it ended up there, nor do I think the "experts" knew why either. Just a peculiar happenstance for some reason.

billyaustindillon on January 15, 2011:

Peggy yes I remember it was on TV for a while - amazing how these creatures can get off course - I am trying to remeber if it was hurricane or similar related. Of course El Nino type events can create shifts and environemntal disasters. Similar to the sea turtles and their movements.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 14, 2011:

Hello Wayne Brown,

The Crystal River manatee in Florida is definitely a joy to see and like you said, we need to respect the areas in which they congregate. If the operators of boats would simply respect the posted speed limits that alone would go a long way towards helping the manatee survive and they would not suffer so many injuries from the boat motor blades. Glad that you liked this hub and thanks for the comment.

Wayne Brown from Texas on January 14, 2011:

What an interesting creature. As I watched the video I was drawn to them. You can sense their gentleness in their slow, deliberate movements that are so graceful. They remind me of a combination of so many creatures. Hopefully we can perserve a habitat where this creature can continue to survive and recreate...what a joy they are. What a nice joy you did of presenting their case! Bravo! WB

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 14, 2011:

Hi Cheryl,

These Crystal River manatees were really something to see in person. Well said..."I hope that mankind will be more caring and protect these gentle giants." We need to protect all endangered species no matter where they are on this small planet we all call home. Thanks for the comment.

Cheryl J. from Houston, TX on January 14, 2011:

Peggy,

This is a very informative hubpage on Crystal River Manatee-Endangered Species. Great videos. I hope that mankind will be more caring and protect these gentle giants. Very good information.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 14, 2011:

Hi Ben,

Glad that you and your son Klaus enjoyed the videos showing the manatees. They really are graceful creatures! As to eating 10% of their weight daily, that must keep them fairly busy! They have long intestines and another interesting feature is that as old teeth fall out new ones continually grow in these manatees which are also called sea cows. Thanks for coming back and leaving another comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 14, 2011:

Hello shygirl2,

If you mean by "sad" that manatees are an endangered species, I agree. I also agree that the Crystal River manatees and the ones we got to see in Homosassa Springs, Florida are indeed cute sea creatures. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 14, 2011:

Hi Hello, hello,

Thanks for commenting on this Crystal River Manatee hub. Hopefully the manatees will survive their endangered species status and get to live on this planet far into the future.

Ben Zoltak from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on January 14, 2011:

Just watched them with my son Klaus Peggy, he seemed to like them. So really graceful, I particularly enjoyed the David Attenborough video. If I ate as much as they do in a day (10% body weight) we'd be talking about 20lbs of food!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 14, 2011:

Hi Ben,

I think that you will really like viewing these videos about the manatees when your "gals" are awake. Much to learn about this endangered species. Really something to see how when they are asleep, they rise to take a breath of air and then sink to the bottom still asleep. Nature is really something!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 14, 2011:

Hi Prasetio,

Glad that I could teach a great teacher (you!) something about the Crystal River manatee / sea cow and the fact that this endangered species also lives in other parts of the world besides Florida. Hope that better care is taken so that they do not become extinct. Thanks for the comment.

shygirl2 on January 14, 2011:

Sad, but cute looking sea creatures. Thanks for sharing it with us. :D

Hello, hello, from London, UK on January 14, 2011:

A lovely, caring and informative hub. Thank you, Peggy.

Ben Zoltak from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on January 14, 2011:

I had no idea there were subspecies, very interesting, I thought all manatees were from Florida only. I'd love to see one someday, cool hub, I'd watch the videos but my gals are asleep, will have to wait for another day!

Ben

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on January 13, 2011:

Peggy, this is very informative hub. I never knew about sea cow before. Wow.... this is amazing sea animal. I learn much from you. I get new knowledge from you. Thanks for writing this. Rating up!

Prasetio:)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 13, 2011:

Hi Gus,

Yes, it is always interesting when ocean creatures...in this case a manatee...gets into places where it should not be. Thanks to good folks, "Hugh Manatee" was rescued. You have quite a good memory! I had forgotten the name they had given it. Thanks for the comment! :-)

Gustave Kilthau from USA on January 13, 2011:

Howdy Peggy - It is good to see that so many folks really enjoyed your fine article. So did I. In my memory is the story of that "special" manatee to which folks gave the name, "Hugh Manatee," even though, should my memory be serving properly today, was a female of the species. Quite a rescue, that one.

Gus :-)))

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 13, 2011:

Hi Billy,

Yes and it was most unusual for a manatee to have been there. It certainly made the news for a manatee to be spotted in the Houston Ship Channel. Occasionally these manatees venture off the beaten path, but most of the West Indian manatees stay in the Caribbean area and Gulf of Mexico nearer Florida. Some have ventured up the east coast. Warmer waters are what they need to survive.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 13, 2011:

Hello kookoo88,

Yes it is a shame that the Crystal River Manatee or sea cow in Florida and elsewhere is now considered to be an endangered species much of which comes at the hands of humans. Sad!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 13, 2011:

Hello GNelson,

That must have been scary! A Crystal River manatee lifting your kayak right out of the water! As you said, it probably surprised the manatee / sea cow as much as it did you. That must have been quite a sight from your son's perspective and I can just imagine the laughter since all ended well. :-)

billyaustindillon on January 13, 2011:

Nice hub - I remember one of these guys coming up the Houston Ship Channel a few years back

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 13, 2011:

Hi Micky,

Your ode to the manatee

is not insanity.

But milk a sea cow...

where and how?

Haha! Thanks for the clever comment on this Crystal River Manatee hub. Always enjoy your visits. :-)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 13, 2011:

Hello CASE1WORKER,

Manatees exist not only in your imagination but in many places besides Florida, but only if we start treating this endangered species better. It would be a shame if these manatees would exist solely in our memories and imaginations. You must have quite a vivid imagination! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 13, 2011:

Hi Tony,

Very happy to have mentioned your hub which had that great quote as well as others in it. Hope you will get some extra readers!

I never understood the mermaid / manatee connection but I have also heard of it.

As to treating the Crystal River manatee and others with greater respect when boating, that is the least we should be doing for this most gentle of endangered species. Thanks for your comment.

kookoo88 from Cripple Creek on January 13, 2011:

Extraordinary creatures. It's a shame how much humanity is driving so many things toward extinction.

GNelson from Florida on January 13, 2011:

Beautiful animal. Great experience to be around manatees. I was kayaking in Crystal River and a manatee came up for air right under my kayak. Lifted me and the kayak up. Scared the daylights out of me! Must have scared the Manatee too because it didn't come up again any where around me. Two of my sons were kakaking with me and they must have laughed for a half and hour. I guess it was funny if you were watching but kayaks are not suppose to lift out of the water in the middle of a bay.

Micky Dee on January 13, 2011:

Awesomely beautiful!

I think that I shall never see,

A creature as big and docile,

As that wonderful Manatee.

I wish I could swim,

And play with one now.

But you will never be able,

To milk a Sea Cow!

CASE1WORKER from UNITED KINGDOM on January 13, 2011:

Absolutely wonderful hub- thank you for the research and introducing me to a specis which i thought was in my imagination only.

Tony McGregor from South Africa on January 12, 2011:

I found this Hub really fascinating. Interesting that Agusfanani mentioned mermaids - I first heard of manatees when my father and I were discussing the origin of the mermaid legend and he told me that the early sightings of manatees might have been one source for the legend. I had never heard of manatees before and so we did some research about them together.

I find it sad that we humans so often don't resepct the gentlest of creatures like the manatee. Our love for power and speed somehow doesn't let us appreciate the quality of gentleness in our own species and others.

Thanks for sharing this wonderful Hub and for the mention of mine! Much appreciated.

Love and peace

Tony

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 12, 2011:

Hi Stephanie,

Isn't it a shame that these gentle creatures, the manatees who are an endangered species, have to suffer all of those scars from the propellers of boat motors. Pain and suffering and in many cases even many of their deaths result from people not obeying the speed limits in these specially designated waters. Were we to trade places, I'm sure we would beg for better treatment!

Blue Spring State Park sounds beautiful just from the name.

Guess fate awaits from the Gulf oil spill. We can only hope that the oil had dissipated enough not to do too much damage to these already threatened species.

Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 12, 2011:

Hello wanderingpops,

The waters of Crystal River, Florida are just that...crystal clear. You will love diving there! There and elsewhere in Florida you will probably be able to see manatees up close, depending upon where you go. Have fun!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 12, 2011:

Hello agusfanani,

Dugong or Duyung (another word for mermaid)...thanks for adding this information to this hub about the endangered species of sea cows and manatees...all the same animal, just different words depending upon where they are found. Hopefully the boats in the Mahakam River go slowly like they should in Crystal River, Florida and other areas where manatees congregate so as not to harm them. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 12, 2011:

Hi Pamela,

Like you said it is so unnecessary that manatees have to be injured by careless boaters and yet so many are. Happy to hear that you enjoyed this hub about the Crystal River manatee, sea cow...whatever one wishes to call them. Of course manatees are also in other parts of Florida and elsewhere. Hopefully people will start paying attention to help this endangered species as well as other species around the world. Our planet is truly small! Thanks for the comment.

Stephanie Henkel from USA on January 12, 2011:

I enjoyed the information and photos of the manatees at Hermossa and Crystal River. A few years ago we were able to see them congregate in the warm water at Blue Spring State Park in Florida and found them fascinating. Many of the ones we saw carried scars from being cut by propellers of motor boats. They are such huge and gentle looking creatures, and seem so helpless against careless boaters. I too wondered how the oil spill will affect them.

wanderingpops on January 12, 2011:

Aren't they the coolest animal?? I saw a few several years ago in the islands off the coast of Fort Myers. Crystal River and much more of Florida are on my bucket list to dive!

Thanks for a great article.

David

agusfanani from Indonesia on January 12, 2011:

Manatee also lives in Mahakam river in my country, it's locally named Dugong or others call it Duyung (mermaid). I also have concern in animal protection, so I think this hub also help socialize the need of manatees conservation. Thank you Peggy.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on January 12, 2011:

Peggy, I have seen a lot of manatees here in Jacksonville. When you are out on a boat there are areas you much go slower because many have been hurt by speeding boats which is sad and unnecessary. You did an awesome job of telling all about them.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 12, 2011:

Haha! There is a subject for you to research, dahoglund.

It was a treat to be able to see these manatees in Crystal River and the Homosassa River in Florida although it was sad to know that so many of them were injured by the motors of boats due to careless people.

Manatees are just one of many endangered species on our planet and hopefully they will survive. Thanks for the visit and comment.

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on January 12, 2011:

I have heard of these mammals but never knew much about them. The oceans are full of unknown species, I think.As I recall from college I believe that sea going mammals are sort of an evolutionary transition to land mammals. I'm not sure how we explain catfish.

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