Jupiter’s most languid residents, the manatees that call these waters home are a joy to behold. We can all do our part to keep these elegant sea creatures safe at sea.
The first time you spot a manatee is nothing short of magical. From their sleek rounded backs that you see from the surface to their whiskered snouts that pop up for a breath of air, they are some of the cutest local residents we’re lucky to have here in Jupiter. While they may earn their nickname of “sea cow” due to their slow pace of 5 mph, they can actually cruise up to 15 mph in short bursts.
While they may be marine mammals, did you know their closest relative is actually the elephant? They are part of a species of animals called “sirenians” that also includes elephants, the dugong, woolly mammoths, and mastodons! Take a look at their leathery skin and you can see the elephant relation.
While they have no natural predators, when enjoying a healthy marine environment, manatees can live up to 60 years or more. Sadly the biggest threat to their survival is humans. By keeping some of their natural areas protected, manatees can continue to thrive on the rich sea vegetation and clean waterways.
Manatees are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), to ensure their continued survival. Remember when taking your boat out to be mindful of your surroundings, pay heed to no wake zones and most importantly, savour every chance you get to spot one of our beloved Jupiter manatees when you can.