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A record number of manatees converged at a Florida state park recently.

  • Manatees are large aquatic mammals, and sometimes they’re referred to as “sea cows.”
  • They belong to a group of animals called Sirenia. This group also contains dugongs.
  • Dugongs and manatees are very similar in appearance and behaviour, but there is one key difference, their tails.
  • Manatees have paddle-shaped tails, and dugongs have fluked tails, giving it a whale-like appearance.
  • Manatees inhabit shallow, marshy coastal areas and rivers.
  • Conservation Status: Manatee species are listed as ‘Vulnerable’ by the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species.