DOUGLAS FAULKNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DOUGLAS FAULKNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
West Indian manatee. West Indian manatee or sea cow (Trichechus manatus). This aquatic mammal lives in estuaries, rivers and coastal waters around the Caribbean Sea. It is entirely herbivorous, eating a wide variety of water plants in both fresh and saltwater. West Indian manatees are generally solitary, although small groups are also known. Mating occurs throughout the year. Pairs generally have a strong bond with each other, although it is the mother who spends more time raising the young. Manatees are large animals, weighing up to 500 kilograms and eating over 30 kilograms of plant matter each day. Photographed in the Crystal River, Florida, USA.
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