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Sirenian trivia

The name manatee probably comes from the Carib language. Their word "manati" means "woman's breast."

No one knows exactly how many manatees exist in the world.

A manatee can move one side of its lip pads independently of the other side.

Manatees do not have eyelashes.

Barnacles can attach themselves to manatees in salt water, but soon die and drop off when manatees return to fresh water.

Polarized sunglasses will help you see a manatee when you are boating on a sunny day.

Manatees sometimes groan when they stretch.

Flatulence is common in manatees.

When in groups, manatees often surface in unison. This could be an aid in maintaining contact with each other.

The chewing rate of a manatee has been timed at two chews per second.

Fifty acres of tropical forest worldwide are destroyed every minute year-round, threatening thousands of species, including the manatee.

(More trivia, Page 25)

_ Sources: Manatees, An Educator's Guide, the Florida Department of Natural Resources, the Florida Audubon Society