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Manatee are those teddy bears of the sea. Rotund, gentle sea-cows that everyone loves to be around -- an unfortunate thing, for the manatees. We've written about the plight of Florida's manatees in the past -- images from photographer Rebecca Jackrel show the beauty of the creatures as well as the dangers they face in trying to rest in a river visited by so many people, including people who are there specifically to see the manatees.
The animals come to Crystal River Springs as a refuge during the winter. It is a place for them to rest and conserve energy in warm waters. But with so little protection from the many people pressing in on them -- including touching, riding, and otherwise harassing them, not to mention the injuries they sustain from boat propellers slicing into them as they sit just below the water's surface -- our desire to be near them is preventing them from getting that much needed rest.
Here, in a timelapse video made by Mittermeier and fellow photographer Neil Ever Osborne, you can see just how much interaction the manatees are forced to deal with all day, every day.
The video reveals just how little space manatees get for themselves, and how much more protection we need to be offering these animals who are, we cannot forget, members of an endangered species.
Manatees can live up to 60 years.
Manatee pregnancies last for 11 to 13 months. Newborns weigh about 60 pounds (27 kg). Mothers must take their newborns to the water's surface for their first breath, but calves can swim on their own after an hour or so.
Calves are dependent on their mothers for two years.www.livescience.com...
A Vulnerable species is one which has been categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as likely to become Endangered unless the circumstances threatening its survival and reproduction improve. There are currently 4728 animals and 4914 plants classified as Vulnerable, compared with 1998 levels of 2815 and 3222, respectively.
Manatees are capable of understanding discrimination tasks, and show signs of complex associated learning and advanced long term memory. They demonstrate complex discrimination and task-learning similar to dolphins and pinnipeds in acoustic and visual studies.