The Elephant's Sea Living Cousin.
Which marine mammal is related to the Elephant?
If you guessed the manatee, you're right!
Here are a few ways manatees are similar to their elephant cousin (courtesy of beach chair scientist):
- Manatees have two incisors that bear a resemblance to elephant tusks.
- It seems that the West Indian and West African manatee have toenails on each flipper just like the toenails on the feet of elephants.
- Manatees use their large lips very similarly to how an elephant eats with its trunk. They break apart the vegetation and steer the food to their mouths.
- Male manatees and elephants are known as bulls. Female manatee and elephants are known as cows. Young manatee and elephants are known as calves.
- Manatees and elephants are both endangered. Their numbers have dropped due in a large part to human activities.
Savethemanatee.org states ”The West Indian manatee belongs to the order Sirenia as do the Amazonian manatee, dugong...and West African manatee”. These are the only the remaining species left on the planet. They are in danger of becoming extinct. The Seller’s Sea Cow was also part of this group but it became extinct in 1768, only 27 years after it was discovered.
The West Indian Manatee lives around the state of Florida in the United States. You can visit them at Blue Springs State Park.
For some extra fun, here is a picture I drew for you to print out and color!
Beach Chair Scientist- Are manatees and elephants related?
Sirenian.org -Steller's Sea Cow
Special Thank You to my Sister for donating her photos to us.
-by Alyson Coll