Manatees Exposed: Most Common Myths

You will not believe what people actually think about our floating potato friends. Join us as we dive into the world of manatees and separate fact from fiction. From the myth that manatees are "sea cows" to their blubbery nature! we'll set the record straight on these gentle giants of the ocean.


The Yak Man

1/27/20232 min read

Today, I wanted to talk to you about one of our wild animal friends that we often encounter on our tours: the West Indian Manatee.

First, let's clear up a common misconception: manatees are not mermaids. While the idea that mermaids originated from manatees may seem far-fetched, it is said that when Christopher Columbus came to America, he documented seeing a mermaid from his boat before landing in the West Indies.

Another myth is that manatees are not native to Florida. However, this is not true. They have always been around here and are migratory, which is why sometimes they can be seen and other times they cannot. They need a stable water temperature and cannot be exposed to 68 degrees or below for a long time or they risk hypothermia and death.

Contrary to popular belief, manatees are not related to cows. They are called sea cows because they graze on seagrass and are large in size, much like cows. They also do not have a lot of blubber, as many people assume. Instead, they have large intestines which causes them to appear puffy. This is why they are affected by cold water temperatures and have to migrate to avoid them.

Another strange misconception is that manatees have eyes on their tails. This is not true and they have eyes on their heads like most mammals. Additionally, manatees do not always give birth to twins. They usually give birth to one calf, with twin births being very rare.

Now, let's talk about some fun facts about manatees. Firstly, they were once land mammals and are one of the few species that evolved from land to water and back to land. They grow up to 12 feet in length and weigh up to 1200 pounds. They also consume 10-15% of their body weight every single day, which is a lot of seagrass. Their lifespan is also 40-60 years.

In conclusion, manatees are amazing and unique creatures that are often misunderstood. I hope this blog post has helped clear up some misconceptions and provided you with some interesting facts about these sea cows. If you're ever in the St. Augustine area, be sure to check out our tours and maybe you'll have the opportunity to encounter one of these gentle giants up close.

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