Natural History

The West Indian manatee is a large, gray-brown, aquatic mammal with a seal-like body tapering to a flat, paddle-shaped tail. Two small forelimbs on the upper body have three to four nails on each end. The head is wrinkled and the face has large prehensile lips with stiff whiskers surrounding the nasal cavity flaps.

They are members of the Order Sirenia found worldwide in temperate or tropical coastal waters.

Learn more about Manatee physiology, breeding, manatee myths, and about the species our manatees are part of.