It is hard to believe that sailors once mistook Manatee and her cousin Dugong for mermaids. These sole remaining members of the Sirenia family are more like small blimps than beautiful women. Also called Sea Cows, Manatee and Dugong are the only Sea Mammals that eat solely vegetation.
One of the most endangered of Sea Mammals, Manatee keeps vital waterways such as the Amazon River basin free of vegetation by consuming large amounts of food. Exploited for years for her meat and hide, Manatee is now a protected species.
Manatee favors muddy bays, lagoons, and estuaries of the places around Caribbean Sea and Western Africa. She prefers living in warm waters but has been known to swim as far north as Long Island Sound (New York, USA). More often than not, during a tropical cold spell, Manatee will join her friends around the warm outflow of a spring. On cold mornings, Manatee floats vertically in the water with only her snout showing. As the sun heats the air up, She raises more of her body above the surface. Later when She is warmed up, Manatee will cruise along looking for food.
Manatee prowls the bottom using her sensitive mouth to detect delicious grasses. With her front flippers, She grasps the vegetation and munches to her heart's content. When Manatee is done munching, she walks on her flippers to find more food at the bottom.
Manatee is friendly and slow moving. When She meets other Manatees, She bonds with Them by mouthing. Manatee will play “follow the leader” and bodysurf with other Manatees. But what she enjoys the most is exploring her world.
Manatee is noted for her inquisitiveness. She likes to investigate her world and all that She finds in it. Chessie, a famous Manatee, was well known for his cruising north to the Chesapeake Bay and beyond exploring the North American Coast. Unfortunately for Manatee, She gets hurt when She investigates speeding motorboats. Be curious about your world, but remember to watch out for those boats.
Manatee’s Teachings Includes:
“The gentle, placid, slow moving Manatee is so trusting, serene, and calm, she will let humans approach her and pet her. Invoke Manatee medicine for gentleness, serenity and trust.” Copyright: Dolfyn
“Manatee kisses are wet and sloppy and smell like alfalfa.” Copyright: Caryn Self-Sullivan, Sirenian International, Inc.
Take time to read what Manatee’s Cousin, Dugong has to teach.
One difference between Manatee and Dugong is in their tails. Manatee has a round, wide tail, while Dugong has a fluted tail like Whale’s. Also, Manatee prefers living in fresh water; Dugong prefers seawater.
Conservation Note: Manatees are severely endangered and are protected in the United States. To learn more about Manatees and how to save Them go to Sirenian International, Inc.
Manatee Empowerment: Manatee : Gentle Love and Serenity: Animals have gifts that they are willing to offer people. One gift of the animals is their energies to empower people on their journey of life. With their energy gift, each animal offers their particular wisdom to the person. People in need of serenity will benefit from Manatee’s soft, calming energy.
I offer Manatee Empowerment for $40 US (includes before and after consultations, Manatee meditation, and Manatee crystal). For more information, contact me.
Photo of Manatees copyrighted by Laurel Canty-Ehrlich, U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Photo of Manatee Caution Sign also courtesy of NOAA.