Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Question of the Week – Manatees

Posted by romeethredge on January 4, 2013

Last week I had a photo we took a few weeks ago at Wakulla Springs below Tallahassee Florida. It was a manatee. They said there are about 40 of them in the park now. They come up near the springs in winter to get closer to the warmer water.

The average Florida manatee is about 10 feet long and weighs close to 1,200 pounds. Manatees can reach up to 13 feet in length and weigh 3,500 pounds. Female manatees tend to be larger than the males. Their calves weigh around 66 pounds and are 4 feet long.

 Manatees in captivity have been known to live for more than 50 years. Distinctly scarred individuals have been known to live for at least 39 years.

How many manatees are in Florida waters? As of 2012, the highest number of manatees counted in a statewide survey (in winter 2010) was 5,076. However, this is only the highest count of the number of manatees in Florida and is not a true estimate of the population.

How fast are manatees? Tracking studies have shown that manatees can travel up to 50 miles or 80 km in a day. Manatees generally swim slowly but have been clocked at speeds up to 15 mph (25 km/hr) for short bursts.

How long can manatees stay underwater without breathing? While time varies with the animals’ level of activity, manatees surface to breathe about every four minutes. When resting, they can stay underwater up to 20 minutes before surfacing for air.

How much do manatees eat? Manatees, feeding between 6 and 8 hours daily, consume about 4 to 9% of their body weight in wet vegetation such as seagrass and other aquatic plants. Wow, if we had a few dozen in Lake Seminole they could do some good on our weeds.

This and other manatee information can be found at this Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website.

This week’s question…

After Christmas, my niece brought her boyfriend to visit us and he is in a band. I was looking at one of their album covers and saw this instrument that is made from something we commonly have here. This week I want to ask what this instrument is made from?

Btw, their music is pretty good.

The Barlettas EP cover art


2 Responses to “Question of the Week – Manatees”

  1. Steve said

    If it is a ukulele – the good ones are made from Koa, others from mahogany and spruce.

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