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about the species

It's a realgiantfrom the sea.

Strong, it reaches up to4m longand weigh an impressive 600kg. “Exuberant” measures, which contrast with thedocile and endearing temperamentof specimens of the species Trichechus manatus (LINNAEUS, 1758), better known as manatee.

Trichechus manatus

With a rounded face, small eyes, plump body and, on top of that, with a unique charisma, the aquatic mammal is an “expert” in awakening the enchantment of children and adults, whether during a rare appearance on the beaches andNorth and Northeast rivers– the only regions where it is still possible to find the manatee in the country – or even during a walk along the Tatuamunha River, on the north coast of Alagoas, the famous Manatee Sanctuary. But its importance in nature goes far beyond entertaining or enchanting human beings: a herbivore, the manatee acts at the base of the food chain and, if extinct, can disrupt the cycle and lead other animals to death.

As adults, manatees basically feed onseaweed and needle grass(hence the popular name of the species in Portuguese being associated with “boi”). A specimen is capable of consuming up to 60 kg (or 10% of its weight) of food per day. If the excess of these aquatic plants is not eliminated, they can prevent the passage of light into the water and cause the death of fish.

In addition, from the elaboration of its diet, the manatee eliminates nutrients that will serve as a basis for thephytoplankton growth(although they are almost invisible algae) and zooplankton (fish larvae and tiny crustaceans), elements that are the basis of life in river estuaries and reef environments.

Areslow to swim and docilewith humans. These characteristics make them fragile and, as they often rise to breathe, they are easily spotted. They have a long life, about 60 years. But the reproductive cycle is slow. For a puppy to be born (13 months of gestation), grow (2 years of breastfeeding) and reproduce, generating a descendant, it takes a long time.

All these characteristics demonstrate how much the species needs special attention for its conservation in nature.

Come and meet the Manatee Association!
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Appointment: (82) 3298-6247 or WhatsApp: (82) 99810-3021

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