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West Indian Manatee Video Stock Footage

Like the other sirenians, the West Indian manatee has adapted fully to aquatic life, having no hind limbs. Pelage cover is sparsely distributed across the body, which may play a role in reducing the build-up of algae on their thick skin. The average West Indian manatee is about 2.7–3.5 m (8.9–11.5 ft) long and weighs 200–600 kg (440–1,320 lb), with females generally larger than males. The difference between the two subspecies of the West Indian manatee is that the Florida manatee is commonly reported as being larger in size compared to Antillean manatee. The largest individual on record weighed 1,655 kg (3,649 lb) and measured 4.6 m (15 ft) long. This manatee's color is gray or brown. Its flippers also have either three or four nails. The West Indian manatee is a species distinct from the Amazonian manatee (T. inunguis) and the African manatee (T. senegalensis). Based on genetic and morphological studies, the West Indian manatee is divided into two subspecies, the Florida manatee (T. m. latirostris) and the Antillean or Caribbean manatee (T. m. manatus). However, recent genetic (mtDNA) research suggests that the West Indian manatee actually consists of three groups, which are more or less geographically distributed as: (1) Florida and the Greater Antilles (2) Mexico, Central America and northern South America and (3) northeastern South America. Learn more about West Indian Manatee


View related species in family group: Manatee

Animalia: Chordata: Sirenia: Mammalia: Trichechidae: Trichechus manatus

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