Manatees are interesting and mysterious creatures which have a habit of living just beneath the surface of the water. Sighting these amazing creatures has become a passion, and perhaps a bit of an obsession of ours.
We are always looking for new places to see them in Florida. Of course, we have our favorite locations for sighting these gentle giants. The bridge on Beach Road heading to Englewood Beach is good.
And of course, we always enjoy going to one of our favorite restaurants where we can sit on the patio deck that stretches out over the water. Here while we dine, we can scout the horizon for the tell-tale shadowy image that betrays the presence of a manatee just below the waters surface.
Manatees in Florida are also called sea cows. They are an endangered species with the largest number of these gentle sea creatures living in the coastal waters around Florida. The extent of how endangered they are, lies in the fact that the entire Florida population numbers only about 2,000.
Because they usually swim just below the surface of the water, many have been killed or injured by boat propellers. Many who have escaped death have scar patterns on their backs from encounters with propeller blades. Ironically, some researchers use these scar patterns as a means of identification.
What do Manatees Eat?
They are herbivores, dining exclusively on sea plants.
The last two points is perhaps a bad (lethal) combination when one considers that these creatures inhabit areas of the coast that have increasing usage by humans. But because they inhabit the water in areas most used by humans and are slow moving and also curious, they are now facing extinction. The most significant killer of these magnificent creatures are the propellers of the pleasure craft that ply the waterways along coastal Florida.
Fortunately their plight has become increasingly publicized and manatees have become the object of much concern. Consequently, there are many individuals and groups who are working to save them from extinction.
These gentle giants are amazing to watch as they swim just below the surface casting a shadowy image. Manatees are such interesting and mysterious creatures, we can literally spend hours searching to catch a glimpse of them as they swim in the coastal waterways in the Englewood area.
Below I have posted a video of manatees swimming in the Crystal River area. Enjoy!
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