brandon cole         marine

  Search   Bio and Stocklist   Photo Buyers   New   Site Map   Contact Us


photos of  manatees

To see more Florida manatee pictures, click here

ki1891. portrait of Florida Manatee, a subspecies of the West Indian Manatee. Photo by Brandon Cole
florida manatee underwater high resolution photo
ki9875. West Indian Manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris), split view half in half out
stock photograph of manatees, an endangered species
ki1892. snorkeler (model released) and West Indian Manatee, Florida subspecies
florida manatee interacts with swimmer, underwater stock picture
nz0643-D. West Indian Manatees (Trichechus manatus), Florida subspecies
mother and calf manatees photograph florida subspecies

more photos


   vitals                                                              bio
Florida Manatee, a subspecies of the West Indian Manatee
scientific name Trichechus manatus latirostris
range tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea from North America to Brazil
Crystal River, Florida USA
habitat coastal, shallow sea grass beds, and rivers
size to 11 feet (3.5m), 3000 lbs
diet sea grasses
trivia toenails look just like elephant's; mother and calf communicate with squeaks; female's mammary glands in armpit!
The endearing, endangered, Florida Manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris, is a subspecies of the West Indian Manatee. It would be difficult to mistake this rotund marine mammal for a whale, dolphin, shark, fish, or just about any other animal alive, but supposedly desparate sailors reaching the New World imagined they had found the mermaids of legend, hence the manatee's biological classification as a Sirenian, of the order Sirenia. Anyone lucky enough to have encountered the gentle, curious manatee knows that they can be quite charming, but to mistake its portly gray body for that of a shapely sea seductress? Its other nickname- sea cow- seems much more appropriate.
     Florida's Crystal River area virtually guarantees one the opportunity of coming face to face with the sea cow. During winter months, cool ocean temperatures force them to move inshore and up into the warmer spring-fed riverways. The majority of the estimated 3000 to 3500 surviving manatees can be found concentrated in central Florida, drawing people from all over the world eager for a chance to snorkel with them. Three top spots for in-water encounters are Homosassa River, King's Spring, and Three Sisters. Due to the manatee's endangered status, official sanctuaries have been created in which people are not permitted, but the manatees regularly swim out of these areas to interact with swimmers.
     Manatees are herbivorous and eat from 100 to 300 pounds of sea grasses per day. They spend much of their days sleeping, but also allow time for socializing.  Females give birth to one, five-foot long calf weighing 100 pounds once every three to five years. Calves start nursing just a few hours after birth. They remain with their mothers for up to two years, during which time they learn skills critical for survival- the yearly migration patterns, locations of the feeding grounds and winter refuge sites, etc.
     On average, 100 to 200 Florida manatees die each year. Boat collisions, propeller injuries, toxic red-tide plankton blooms, pollution and discarded fishing tackle have been problems for years. Rampant development along the Florida coastline in the last 30 years has also had a serious impact on the manatee population, replacing manatee grazing and breeding grounds with man's shopping centers and housing complexes.


KEYWORDS  florida manatee, florida manatees, west indian manatee, west indian manatees, florida, west indian, manatee, manatees, Trichechus manatus latirostris, sea cow, sea cows, sirenian, sirenians, person, swimmer, snorkeler, snorkeling, interaction, humor, model released, over under, split view, photo, photos, photograph, photographs, picture, pictures, stock, photography, marine, underwater, horizontal, vertical

  Search   Bio and Stocklist   Photo Buyers   New   Site Map   Contact Us  All text and images Copyright © 1993-2010 Brandon Cole.  All Rights Reserved worldwide.  No image is to be downloaded, copied, duplicated, modified, sampled, redistributed, archived,  etc., in whole or in part, without the express prior written authorization of 
Brandon Cole. These images are NOT FREE.  Please contact us to arrange an appropriate usage fee:  Tel 509-535-3489; e-mail: