Thursday, August 31, 2017

Life cycle of a manatee

For writing we are learning about explanation writing we got to choose a topic of our choice. I decided to do the life cycle of a manatee. I found them interesting since the female manatee are pregnant for 1 year! I found trying to find the information for the manatee's adulthood hard to find since Google didn't have much websites to provide the information i needed. Hope you enjoy my explanation :)

Manatee life cycle
Have you ever wondered about the life cycle of a manatee? Manatees or sea cows have a different life cycle than other sea mammals. They are known to be gentle mammals that lives in the coastal waters or lakes around The caribbean, United states, Central America, Eastern Mexico or South America.  The manatee has a lifespan of about 40-50 years but can live up to 60 years.

Firstly a female manatee won’t reach maturity till she is the 3 or 5 years of age. They will then start mating with other males at age 6. They will only breed every 3-5 years unless they lose their calf in the first year then they will mate the following year. A female won’t connect with her male partner but will be in a mating herd of approximately a dozen other male bulls. The breeding and births can happen at any time of the year but will occur usually around Spring and Summer. The female will carry the calf for about 1 year.

Secondly when the female is ready to give birth she will seek for a quiet place to give birth. The calf will either be born head or tail first and will weigh around 60 -70 pounds, they are also around 3-4 feet long. Once they are born they will vocalize and then a mother- calf bond begins for about 2 years, they will also be able to swim and nurse immediately after birth. After they are born the mother will bring the calf up to the surface to breathe.The calf starts nursing underwater and will start to frequently. The mother reaches the young calf  They will usually only stay for their mother for around 1 year, some calves may stay with their mother till they are around 1 and ½ or 2 years of age.

Thirdly the female manatee won’t reach maturity till she is about 5 years of age, and she will only breed 3-5 times a year. She won’t form a permanent bond with a male manatee but instead will be in a mating herd with  a dozen other male manatees or bulls. The breeding and birth can happen around anytime during the year, but most births will occur during Spring and Summer. The manatee will often travel alone and will mostly stay underwater, but will come out of the water to breathe air up on the surface. A manatee migrates to warmer waters during seasonal changes because they can’t sustain water temperatures below 63 degrees. A manatee has a slow metabolism, cold water might drain out the manatee’s body heat.

Manatees have a different life cycle than other mammals. From being a calf to their adulthood and their breeding. The adult manatee will only have a baby once a year and then the life cycle will begin again.

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