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- Three species grace the world’s rivers and coastal waterways: The W. Indian, the Amazonian, and the African manatee.
- The primary threats to the endangered manatees are human related: hunting, habitat loss, and fatalities from watercraft.
- Unique among mammals for having only molars, the manatee is the only plant-eating marine mammal on Earth.
- Seafaring lore abounds with sailors’ tales of “mermaids”—most likely manatees or dugongs (a Pacific Ocean relative).