• The manatee (Trichechus manatus) is a marine mammal native to tropical wetlands of the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, the southern Atlantic coast of the United States, and northern South America.
    • Manatees are mostly herbivores, although they have been known to eat fish and small crustaceans.
    • Some scientists say that a manatee's whiskers, or vibrissae, are as sensitive as human fingertips. Vibrissae help manatees navigate the muddy wetlands where they live.
    • Manatees are about 1.2 meters (4 feet) long and weigh about 27 kilograms (60 pounds) at birth, and can grow to be 4 meters (13 feet) long and weigh more than 1,360 kilograms (3,000 pounds).
    • One of the manatee's closest terrestrial (land-loving) relatives is the elephant. They both have tough skin, bristly body hair, flat teeth that are continually being replaced, and "toenails" on each forelimb.
    • Female manatees often grow larger than males. Their greater size helps them support manatee calves.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    herbivore Noun

    organism that eats mainly plants and other producers.

    Encyclopedic Entry: herbivore
    manatee Noun

    threatened marine mammal native to the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.

    vibrissae Plural Noun

    whiskers.

    wetland Noun

    area of land covered by shallow water or saturated by water.

    Encyclopedic Entry: wetland