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Manatee On The Golden Islaes

 
A big manatee may measure ten feet from nose to tail and weigh up to 1,200 pounds, but they're also very particular, sensitive critters.
That's why in the summer, when the water gets above their preferred room temperature of 68 degrees, they migrate north from Florida and, like all folks with good taste and a taste for the good life, spend their summers in the Golden Isles!

It's not the golf or the great seafood that attracts these herbivorous, slightly cumbersome sea creatures to the Georgia coast, but the warm, marshy estuaries that make the Golden Isles a manatee paradise. There they'll spend several hours a day floating just beneath the water's surface, grazing on the 35 pounds or so of water plants they need to consume each day.

There are so many cool facts about the manatee's evolution, recent history and biology that there's simply no way to get it all in here. There's so much more than meets the eye to these enigmatic gentle giants that we had to select just a few highlights to introduce you before you see one swimming around your favorite Golden Isles boat dock.

Manatee Pullquote

Historians have subsequently
theorized that stir-crazy sailors were most likely seeing and hearing manatees (who communicate with chirps and squeals audible to humans) and imagining they were beautiful mermaids. It's a pent-up sailor thing - you wouldn't understand. 

Found in warm costal waters throughout the tropics and sub-tropics, manatees look much more like ungainly cousins of the walrus than the Little Mermaid, but they're more closely related to elephants and an odd little rodent-like mammal called the hyrax. This may seem like a stretch to the layman, but take a look at the 3-4 "toenails" on the end of the manatee's stumpy front limbs. They look a lot like the toes of an elephant, a trait shared by the hyrax as well.




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