Manatee Facts for Kids

Cartoon Manatee | Alphabetimals.com

Manatee

Join Albert as he explores amazing manatee facts for toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartners. Click on the images to hear silly sounds and then read about fun manatee facts like what do manatees look like?, what sound do manatees make?, how big are manatees?, what do manatees eat?, where do manatees live?, and more fun facts about manatees!

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What do manatees look like?

Manatee underwater

Manatees are mammals. This means that they are warm-blooded and feed milk to their babies. 

Manatees look like a cross between a hippo and a seal. They have 2 front flippers and a paddle-shaped tail. They are grayish in color.

Cute cartoon boy saying shhhh

What sound do manatees make?

Cartoon Manatee | Alphabetimals.com
Microphone

Click the the image to hear the sound!

Manatees make a range of chirps, whistles and squeaks. Most sounds are made between the mother and her baby (called a calf). 

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How big are manatees?

Cartoon Manatee | Alphabetimals.com
Two park benches side by side

Manatees can grow up to 10 feet long which is the same size as 2 park benches side by side.

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What do manatees eat?

Cartoon seaweed
Cartoon seaweed
Cartoon seaweed
Cartoon seaweed

Manatees are herbivores which means that they only eat plants. 

They enjoy eating lots of different aquatic (or water) plants like sea grass. They can spend 8 hours a day eating. 

Manatees are also called “sea cows” because they graze grass (underwater) and are slow and relaxed animals, a bit like cows.

Cute cartoon boy looking at a map

Where do manatees live?

River stream background
Cartoon Manatee | Alphabetimals.com

Manatees live in tropical and subtropical areas of North and South America and also Africa. Manatees live in both freshwater like rivers and salt water like the sea. They like staying in warm, shallow water.

More fun facts about manatees for kids

  • Manatees are related to elephants! Although they don’t look much like elephants, they have some similarities. Their upper lip can grab vegetation like an elephant’s trunk and their teeth are similar to elephant teeth. Their nipples are also located near the armpits the same as elephant nipples!
  • Manatees don’t have different types of teeth like we do. We have molars to grind our food and canines and incisors to tear and cut our food. Manatees just have “cheek teeth”. These grind plant matter. They only have 12 teeth at a time. When the teeth fall out, they grow new ones.
  • Manatees were once mistaken for mermaids! They don’t look like pretty girls with long flowing hair and scaly tails, but they’re pretty in their own right!
  • Manatees can hold their breath underwater for 20 minutes when resting. But when they’re moving around, they come to the surface to breathe every 30 seconds.
  • Manatees can’t turn their heads like we can. Instead, they have to move their whole body if they want to turn to look at something.
  • Manatees usually cruise along at 5 mph (8 kph), but can reach speeds up to 15 mph (24 mph) if they need to make a quick dash.

Sources: Wikipedia, Live Science, Creative Commons, Britannica.com and Freesound.org

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Alphabetical list of animals that start with M

A full alphabetical list of popular animal names that begin with the letter M for toddlers and preschool kids.

  1. Macaque
  2. Macaw
  3. Magpie
  4. Mallard
  5. Manatee
  6. Mandrill
  7. Manta Ray
  8. Margay
  9. Marmoset
  10. Marmot
  11. Mayfly
  12. Meerkat
  13. Millipede
  14. Mink
  15. Mockingbird
  16. Monarch Butterfly
  17. Mole
  18. Mollusk
  19. Mongoose
  20. Monitor Lizard
  21. Monkey
  22. Moose
  23. Moray Eel
  24. Mosquito
  25. Moth
  26. Mountain Lion
  27. Mouse
  28. Mule
  29. Musk Ox

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