Manatees, Crystal River, Florida
© Gregory Sweeney/Getty Image
Check out these ‘sea cows’. Manatee Appreciation Day
Today is Manatee Appreciation Day, which is all about treasuring and helping these gentle creatures. Given their sweet and friendly nature, it’s pretty hard not to love them. These mammals slowly graze through rivers and coastal waters for up to seven hours a day, consuming 10-15 percent of their body weight. They do have teeth, but fear not, all of them are flat molars used for grinding up aquatic plants. Throughout their lives they grow new teeth at the back of their mouth which then move forward, replacing the older ones. Manatees are curious and interested in hanging out with humans, but our presence puts them at risk of accidental contact with boats and manmade structures. Protecting our vulnerable wildlife is crucial if we want to be able to appreciate them for years to come.