West Indian manatee mother and baby, Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River, Florida
© Karine Aigner/Tandem Stills + Motio
The life aquatic. Manatee Awareness Month
Today we're celebrating the lovely manatee! These marvelous marine mammals have a fascinating history that spans millions of years. They are related to elephants and their ancestors can be traced back to the Eocene era (about 56 to 33.9 million years ago), making them one of the oldest mammals on Earth. These slow-moving herbivores have, over time, adapted to life in warm, coastal waters.
These sleepy creatures are friendly towards humans but boat collisions and habitat loss are among their biggest threats. Our homepage manatees are pictured in Three Sisters Springs, in Florida's Crystal River, where hundreds of manatees arrive to spend the winter months in warmer waters. If you visit the area and come across a West Indian manatee, we encourage you to take a moment to appreciate them, but from a distance.