What is a Manatee?

We suspect that some of you may be wondering: What even is a "Manatee?" or What does the name Manatee Fresh mean? If you are not from Florida, there may be a big chance that you are unfamiliar with the Florida Manatee. Let’s keep reading to learn a little bit more about it. After all, it is half of our company name. 

What exactly is a manatee? 

The manatee is a large, aquatic mammal native to Florida – well, at least one species is native to Florida. You guessed it, the Florida Manatee. These animals are mostly herbivorous and never pose a threat to humans. They can be best described as a “sea cow.” Manatees are actually distant relatives of elephants. They closely resemble the elephant with their tough skin, soft bristle-like hairs that cover their body, and the toe “nails” they have on their fins.  

Where can I spot a manatee? 

In Florida, you can find these manatees in shallow water such as in bays, slow-moving and calm rivers, canals, and the areas surrounding mangroves. In the summer months, they tend to travel up north as far as Virginia. When winter rolls back around and the waters start to grow colder, the manatees return to Florida to enjoy the warm water.  

How big is a manatee? 

Manatees, although they serve as no threat to humans or most any animal for that matter, are rather large in size. A manatee is typically born at 4 to 4 and a half feet long, and weighs 60-70 lbs. When full grown, they will reach at least 10 feet in length and weigh 800-1200 lbs. At most, a large manatee can grow to 13 feet and weigh 3500 lbs. That is a really big animal to be swimming next to, which, actually, is frowned upon. It is illegal to harass, pet, or attempt to capture a manatee. This is due to the fact that manatees are an endangered species with only 6,000 left in Florida today.  

A few more things you might find interesting: 

  • Manatees can hold their breath for up to 20 minutes, but usually prefer to take many more breaths than that. They frequently change locations to surface after disappearing from our view. 
  • Manatees leave “footprints” from their tails hitting the sand in the shallow water, which look like oval shapes. 
  • Manatees are very curious animals, making it tempting for us to feed them lettuce or offer them a drink of water from the hose. It is strongly suggested that we let them be, and do not essentially invite them to play in the traffic of boaters and human activity that could harm these slow, gentle creatures. 

The "manatee" in Manatee Fresh is not only referencing this special animal that we, as Floridians, are lucky enough to experience - Manatee County is where our company was founded! How neat!

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 How can I support manatees?

As supporters of Mote Marine, we encourage you to also visit the aquarium and engage with their research efforts. 
Manatees have been said to symbolize compassion, peace, and curiosity.

Visit Manatee World for more information below