Monday, September 12, 2005

Manatees star on "The Simpsons"

Last night, I watched "The Simpsons" and was surprised by the Manatee stars. It is nice that a popular TV show featured a little known animal. They also emphasized how endangered they were.

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 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.
Read more at ANIMAL Teachers: Manatee

However, "The Simpsons" confuse Manatee with Dugong. The difference between Manatee and Dugong is that Dugong has tusks, which Manatee does not. Dugong’s flippers also lack the rudimentary nails that Manatee has. 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.

You can adopt a manatee at
Save the Manatee Club.

No comments: