FIELD GUIDE Animal Directory
A large, lumbering marine mammal, the manatee is a placid aquatic herbivore. This distant relative of the elephant lives in warm brackish tropical and subtropical waters. Sometimes reaching lengths of more than 10 ft (3 m), manatees can remain underwater for long periods, surfacing for air at regular intervals. Spotting one is an exciting feather in the cap for nature lovers, who can encounter them in the backwaters of Tortuguero and Gandoca-Manzanillo.
Family and Breeding
Although generally solitary, manatees are sometimes spotted in groups. Females can come into estrus throughout the year, and about two years after giving birth. Like their cousin the elephant, ...