Imagine the thrill of taking Manatee pictures or swimming with a Manatee. For first or second timers, a guided Manatee tour on a licensed Captain’s vessel is advised. They know how to quickly locate Homosassa or Crystal River Manatees. A Manatee tour Captain is also very knowledgeable and readily shares stories with patrons and guests. Many Florida Charter Captains offer to make underwater Manatee pictures or movies of their customers swimming with the manatees. You can also rent or bring your own boat to enjoy Manatees at your leisure. Homosassa Manatees are waiting for you.
You can see Manatees at the Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park (www.hsswp.com) or take a guided Manatee Tour. For Manatee Tours in Crystal River Florida visit Manatee Tour and Dive ask for Captain Charlie. (www.manateetoursusa.com) or visit River Ventures Manatee Tours at (www.riverventures.com)
MANATEE FACT SHEET
Name: Florida Manatee
Description of a Manatee: Large, seal-like body that tapers to a beaver-like tail. Two forelimbs with three or four nails on each. Manatees have thick skin, with stiff whiskers on upper lip.
Color: Gray or gray-brown
Size: Typically about 9-10 feet long, weighing 1,000 pound. Can grow as large as 13 feet, weighing more than 3,000 pounds.
Behavior: Completely harmless and non-aggressive, they are often shy and reclusive.
Vision: Depth perception may be limited. Can differentiate colors.
Hearing: Manatees can hear well despite the absence of external ear lobes: directional hearing is limited.
Communication: Emit sounds that are within human auditory range. They make squeaks and squeals when frightened, playing or communicating, particularly between cow and calf.
Breathing: Nostrils on upper surface of snout close tightly like valves when submerged. Surfaces to breathe every few minutes when active; every 10 to 15 minutes when resting.
Range/Habitat: Primarily restricted to peninsular Florida and South Georgia. They can be found in shallow, slow-moving rivers, estuaries, saltwater bays, canals, and coastal areas, particularly where seagrasss beds flourish. Manatees can live in fresh or salt water.
Manatee Reproduction: Normally one calf every 2 to 5 years.
Manatee Population: At least 1,850 Manatees are remaining in the southeastern U.S. concentrated in Florida Crystal River and Homosassa Springs year-round.