25 Manatee Facts That Show How Fascinating They Are

Manatees are adorable giants with a gentle demeanor and an endearing curiosity. Most of the day, you can catch these large, fully aquatic, herbivorous mammals either sleeping or eating. Sadly, issues such as habitat loss and run-ins with boats have endangered them. In fact, it’s estimated that only about 7,634 to 10,434 West Indian manatees exist. The Amazonian manatee population count is not available, but scientists believe their numbers are not large either. It’s sad that such an incredible creature is in danger of going extinct. On this list, we are going to bring awareness to this incredible animal. These are 25 manatee facts that show how fascinating they are.

Images: Shutterstock unless otherwise noted.


Manatees cannot turn their heads sideways. In order to look around, it has to turn its whole body.

Manatee in open watersSource: savethemanatees.org

A manatee’s age can be determined by the annual growth rings in its ear bones.

Older manateeSource: savethemanatees.org


Manatees do not have eyelashes, and their eye muscles close in a circular motion.

manatees-eyesSource: savethemanatees.org

It’s believed that the word manatee comes from the Carib word “manati,” meaning woman’s breast.

Manatee in a clear pool of waterSource: savethemanatees.org


Manatees are sometimes called “sea cows.” It’s believed this name comes from the fact that manatees are herbivores like cows.

Sea cowSource: savethemanatees.org

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