Sinonimi: Trichechus manatus
ETYM Spanish manatí, from the native name in Hayti. Related to Lamantin.
Any plant-eating aquatic mammal of the genus Trichechus constituting the family Trichechidae in the order Sirenia (sea cows). Manatees occur in marine bays and sluggish rivers, usually in turbid water.
The three species of manatee are the Amazonian manatee, found in the river Amazon, the African manatee, which lives in the rivers and coastal areas of W Africa, and the West Indian manatee, which lives in the Caribbean Sea and along the E coasts of tropical North and South America. All are in danger of becoming extinct as a result of pollution and because they are hunted for food. Their forelimbs are flippers; their hindlimbs are absent, but they have a short, rounded and flattened tail that is used for propulsion. The marine manatee grows up to about 4.5 m/15 ft long and weighs up to 600 kg/1,323 lb.
Sirenian mammal of tropical coastal waters of America; the flat tail is rounded; SYN. Trichechus manatus.