How They Are Related
The elephant is considered
the manatee's closest living relative.
all this sounds far-fetched, you can see for yourself the manatees' land-based heritage: Examine pictures of the tips of
each of the front flippers.
pectoral flippers always contain three to four vestigial fingernails
that look remarkably like an elephant's.
manatees and elephants, herbivores that eat plants,
have a similar tooth structure.
like whales, dolphins and seals, are marine mammals.
Manatees, however, are unrelated to whales or seals, although manatees
do have something of a whale's body and a seal's head.
manatees along with the dugong, are members of the order called sirenia.
At one time sirenia had a dozen members; only four survive today.
Scientists are not sure why sirenian diversity declined.
Availability of aquatic vegetation and/or competition with other marine
herbivores and climate change may all have had roles.
Florida Manatee Facts and Information
Where To See Florida Manatees
Manatee Photo Gallery
How Long Have Manatees Been Around?
How Old Do Manatees Live?
Manatees as Mermaids
How the Manatee Got Its Name
Why Manatees Became Endangered
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