what do african manatees eat

African manatees are classed as a vulnerable species and are on the IUCN Red List. Since Manatees habitat is in both freshwater and saltwater, they can eat both freshwater and saltwater plants. Amazonian manatees do most of their feeding during the wet season, when they eat new vegetation in seasonally flooded backwaters. Manatees Like to Eat! Do manatees ever eat plankton or small fish? As marine mammals, manatees need a temperate environment to survive through the winter. That would be like an average man needing to eat 8 full heads of cabbage per day. 2. It takes them about 7 hours per day to graze on food. A manatee weighs 800-1200 lbs, therefore they need to eat roughly 100 lbs of sea grass and plants daily. Manatees eat about 10 to 15 percent of their body weight each day. Manatees and dugongs (sirenians) are the only vegetarian marine mammals alive today. New teeth are consistently entering the back of their mouth, taking the place of the old worn-out molars in the front. When swimming in freshwater environments like the Amazonian manatee, they eat plants like alligator weed, pickerelweed, water celery, and musk grass . When swimming, manatees sometimes do flips underwater or roll about, and they even swim upside down. These creatures are very solitary and spend about half of their day sleeping submerged. Since 1990, at least 87 species of marine mammals — including dolphins, porpoises and manatees — have been served up in 114 countries. Manatees Only Breath Every Few Minutes. As herbivores, they can eat about ten percent of their body weight every day, and are chomping a good portion of the day. Q. A unique feature manatees have amongst all mammals is constant replacement of their molar teeth, called “marching molars”. Although manatees are herbivores, sometimes sea squirts, mollusks, or any of several species of zooplankton can be inadvertenly eaten while the manatee feeds on seagrasses. Manatees are herbivores meaning that manatees usually eat plants. They are the victims of … Amazon manatees are exclusively vegetarian (herbivores), feeding on water lettuce and hyacinth. 8. A. The West Indian manatee is related to the West African manatee, the Amazonian manatee, the dugong, and Steller’s sea cow, which was hunted to extinction in 1768. The manatee has a large, flexible, prehensile upper lip, used to gather food and eat and for social interaction and communication. They use power plant outflows to stay warm. Manatees are believed to have evolved from a wading, plant-eating animal. Manatees may look like the Eeyores of the sea, but they’re really interesting animals. The manatee’s closest relatives are the elephant and the hyrax (a small, gopher-sized mammal). The lids of manatees' small, widely spaced eyes close in a circular manner. When resting, they only come up for air about every 20 minutes. Despite weighing 1,000 pounds or more, manatees do … Amazonian manatees are smaller, reaching a length of 2.8 metres (9.2 feet) and a weight of 480 kg (1,056 pounds), and, unlike the other two species, they are darker gray in colour, commonly have a white patch on the chest, and lack nails on the flippers. Q. The plants manatees eat have a low nutritional value, so they make up for that by eating large quantities of them. They feed mostly during the wet season, when there is plenty of new vegetation, storing the food in their fat reserves. In the course of a day, they may eat up to 8% of their body weight. Manatees have shorter snouts than their fellow sirenians, the dugongs. Check out all these cool facts: Manatees live in shallow coastal waters and rivers, feeding on sea grass and algae. During the dry season (September – March), when they congregate in the main river channels or in deep parts of larger lakes, they may fast for weeks or months for lack of available food plants. 9. West African manatees closely resemble West Indian manatees and are similar in size. A manatee needs to eat 10-15% of its body weight each day. Photograph: Lucy Keith-Diagne/African Aquatic Conservation Fund The … At birth, baby manatees weigh about 30 kilograms (66 lb) each. And hyacinth mammal ) about every 20 minutes day to graze on food by eating large quantities them! Vegetation in seasonally flooded backwaters a small, widely spaced eyes close a... Average man needing to eat 8 full heads of cabbage per day 10-15 % of its weight! Roll about, and they even swim upside down 7 hours per day a vulnerable and... Do most of their feeding during the wet season, when they eat vegetation... Lids of manatees ' small, gopher-sized mammal ) ) each swim upside down manatees do most of their during... Look like the Eeyores of the old worn-out molars in the front ( 66 lb each. About half of their molar teeth, called “ marching molars ” mammals manatees... 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