TOOTHED or TOOTHLESS (BALEEN): Toothed
FRESHWATER, SALTERWATER or BRACKISH: Freshwater
HABITAT: Rivers and tributaries of the Amazon Basin.
LENGTH (maximum): 9-10 Ft
WEIGHT (maximum): 1,100 lbs
RELATIVE SPECIES: West African manatee, west indian manatee
OTHER NAMES: manati
NEIGHBORING SPECIES: Amazon river dolphin, tucuxi, west indian manatee
PREDATORS: Humans, jaguars, caimans and sharks
THREATS: Illegally hunted, pollution, degradation of habitat, attacked by larger carnivores.
DIET: Aquatic plants
MANNER OF FEEDING: Can feed for 6-8 hours a day. Low metabolic rate allows them to go 200 days without eating. During dry weather they may eat clay, which can kill them.
BEHAVIOR: Form loose social groups of about 10. Communicate with squeaks and squeals. Slow moving. Much more active during the rainy season.
REPRODUCTION: Gestation is 12 months. Females give birth during the rainy season when more food is available.
LIFE SPAN: 60-70 years
- Smallest sirenian.
- Lacks finger nails like the other manatees.
- Knopf, Alfred A. Guide to Marine Mammals of the World.Random House. 2002