This week’s challenge asks that we share a photograph of a sign. Unless you’ve visited shallow inlets around the Treasure/Space Coast or Florida Gulf, you probably haven’t seen this one!
The manatees found in Florida are a geographical sub-unit of the West Indian manatee, Trichechus Manatus. Their ideal habitat is 3-7′ deep, warm water (above 70degrees) where the sun can penetrate and maintain underwater plant life. Manatees are the only aquatic mammals that are herbivores; they feed indiscriminately on submerged or floating vegetation, with seagrasses being a major staple in their diet.
The pictures that follow were taken in June, 2011 at Round Island Riverside Park, and are an accurate representation of the manatees’ natural habitat. If you look behind the girls and toward the left, you’ll see the back of the sign from pic 1.
This next angle gives a better perspective of the type of shallow, calm waters these creatures call home.
Per a 2009 survey, there are at least 3800 Florida manatees, a good sign their population has stabilized since they were last counted in 2001. To learn more, check out the species profile page at the Smithsonian Marine Station Website.
Until next time…..
🙂 🙂 🙂
- Morning photo: Manatee madness (summitcountyvoice.com)
- Zoologger: The sea cow with super-sensing hairs (newscientist.com)