At XTC we are so lucky to have several dive sites where it is possible to encounter manatees. We love manatees and wanted to give you some fun facts about them:
- It is thought that Sailors travelling at sea saw Manatees and mistook them for mermaids and this is how the legends of mermaids started…
- Manatees usually swim about 5 mph (8 km/h), but they can swim up to 15 mph (24 km/h) in short bursts when they feel a need for speed, according to National Geographic.
- Manatees are aquatic mammals and can hold their breath for up to 20 minutes! This is when they’re resting though, when they’re active they can come to the surface every 30 seconds or so for air (National Geographic)
- You will probably see Manatees alone or occasionally in pairs. They are not territorial animals, so there’s no need for them to have a leader or followers. Usually if you see Manatees in a group, it is because they are either mating or simply sharing a warm area that has a large food supply. A group of manatees is called an aggregation. Information from the Save the Manatee Club.
- According to Wikipedia, a manatee can eat 10-15% of its own body weight in a day. That can be as much as 50 kg of food!