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The manatee is a large aquatic mammal. It is a member of the order Sirenia.

Public domain picture from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service full size image


The manatee inhabits shallow, marshy coastal areas of North, Central, and South America, and the Carribean Sea.

It is a vegetarian, spending most of its time grazing in shallow waters.

In the United States, the manatee is an endangered species. Although it does not have any natural predators, human expansion has reduced its natural habitat in the coastal marsh areas, and many are injured by the propellers of outboard motor boats.