lizbrownlee – poet

Poems, animal info, extraordinary women, my books!

M is for Manatee

Manatees are large, aquatic, bulbous, grey, whiskered, flippered, intelligent  creatures that live in rivers, estuaries, bays, canals and coastal areas. They are slow-moving and also like to live in slow-moving water, where they rest and travel to find the sea grasses and other underwater vegetation they like to eat.

They are the only totally herbivorous sea mammal. Although they do occasionally eat fish by accident in with their grasses etc.

There is a West Indian manatee, a West African manatee, and an Amazonian manatee, all of whom are related to the Dugong.

Manatees are migrational, needing warm water, and many West Indian manatees migrate into rivers in Florida in the USA. Here, as in many areas, they are extremely vulnerable to injury from watercraft. There is not a manatee without scars, some have up to 50, and many live their whole lives with appalling disfigurement.

They swim up to divers and hunters as they are curious and friendly, which does not help them!

They are all endangered with extinction – their main threat being human.

They are not the most prepossessing of animals. If they were fluffy perhaps their plight would be more widely talked of. But I think they are gorgeous, full of character, and deserve the ability to swim in their water without risking life and flipper.

If you’d like to read more about the manatee, you can do so here: Wikipedia.

If you’d like to Blog Hop to another A-Z Challenge blog, you can do so here: A-Z Challenge.

© Liz Brownlee -this post is copyright material with all rights reserved, please do not re-post elsewhere – you may link to it.


  1. I didn’t know that the manatee could be found in rivers I thought it was a sea animal so thanks for that. They look cuddly!


    • They do need salty water, so estuaries – although there is argument over whether they need some fresh water to drink. They have been seen drinking from hoses, I read somewhere…


  2. Liz

    I believe early sailors thought they were mermaids? I think they’re endearingly ugly, like hippos.


  3. I agree with Liz about them being endearingly ugly, like a cross between sea lions and hippos. Those sailors must have had pretty bad eyesight.


    • LOL! Yes – they aren’t exactly graceful with long flowing locks, are that?


  4. This friendly, gentle animal reminds me of a series Jack Coustau did about the sea in the seventies. (I hope I spelled his name right, but I think not), To hear manatee pronounced with his French accent endears me to the creature. I didn’t know they were endangered. How tragic.


    • It is, they are endearing aren’t they! I used to love Jacques Cousteau too! His son sounds the same (unsurprisingly really!) I’m sorry i didn’t rely before – you were in spam for some reason. But released now!


  5. Jenny

    You’re doing such a nice job with your A-Z theme. But I wish there was no need for it!


    • Thank you, Jenny. And I agree, it would be lovely just to celebrate all these wonderful creatures…


  6. Arlee Bird

    Manatees are pretty amazing creatures. Great A to Z theme you have.

    A Few Words
    An A to Z Co-host blog


    • Thank you! It’s a fab idea. It’s made me so productive I’m already trying to think of other ways of stirring my creativity by having to meet deadlines. I haven’t done any drawing for ages. All down to you and your co-hosts. I’m very happy to be able to take part and very grateful.


  7. Lily Cate

    Aww, I got to feed some of these charming ladies in Florida once. You’re right, they’re not as cute or as magnificent as some other sea creatures, but they are so calm and mellow, we can definitely learn something from spending time in the company of manatees!


    • Wow, you lucky thing! I like the word ‘mellow’! We could all certainly d with some of that!


  8. I love how you too are blogging animals A to Z using poetry. Thanks for visiting my A to Z blog posts about animals, albeit a little less serious.


Please comment here! Thank you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: