Stock Photo Description: Manatees are aquatic mammals that are called sea cows. These plant eaters are slow swimmers. They have two flippers, each of which has three to four nails on the end (there are no external hind limbs). Short whiskers adorn the short, boxy snout. Manatees are closely related to the elephant and the hyrax (a small mammal that looks like a rodent). Many years ago, there were legends that sailors, seeing manatees from a long distance, thought they were mermaids. Manatees spend their entire lives int he water. Manatees are gentle and sometimes social animals. They communicate with each other using clicks and chirps. Manatees do not develop permanent pair bonds; they live in small family groups, in small herd of 15 to 20 individuals, or alone. Manatees sleep with the nostrils poking above the water.
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