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Manatees Can Live for Half a Century and More

Undisturbed, manatees can live for 50 to 60 years. The world's oldest captive manatee, Snooty, was born in Miami, FL, in 1948 and now lives in the South Florida Museum and Parker Manatee Aquarium in Bradenton, FL.

A big birthday party is held for Snooty every July 16. Snooty was 57 in 2005.

Manatees may live for a long time but they reproduce at a slow rate. Females produce a calf only every 4 to 5 years. Their gestation period is about 13 months.

Then the mother must spend the first two years of a calf's life teaching it survival skills, such as migratory patterns and the locations of seagrass beds.

Where To See Florida Manatees

Manatee Photo Gallery

How the Manatee Got Its Name

Manatees as Mermaids

Manatees and Elephants

Why Manatees Became Endangered

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