Amazonian Manatee


Amazonian Manatee

Taxobox
name = Amazonian ManateeMSW3 Shoshani|pages=93]



image_width = 250px
image_caption = Baby Amazonian Manatee
status = VU
status_ref = IUCN2007 | assessors = Marmontel, M. | year = 2007 | title = Trichechus inunguis | id = 22102 | downloaded = 2007-09-13 Listed as Vulnerable (VU A3cd v3.1)]
trend = down
status_system = iucn3.1
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Mammalia
ordo = Sirenia
familia = Trichechidae
genus = "Trichechus"
species = "T. inunguis"
binomial = "Trichechus inunguis"
binomial_authority = (Natterer, 1883)

The Amazonian Manatee ("Trichechus inunguis") is a species of manatee that lives in the freshwater habitats of the Amazon basin. They are also found in Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana and Venezuela. Amazonian manatees are aquatic animals. They come from the Sirenia order and are also known as "seacows". Their color is gray but sometimes appeares to be a brownish gray. They have thick, wrinkled skin, often with coarse hair, or "whiskers." It lacks significant predation, other than being occasionally hunted by humans. The manatees, and the closely related Dugong, are unique in that they are the only plant-eating marine mammals in modern times.

A somewhat unique feature (amongst mammals) of the manatee is the constant replacement of molar teeth; new teeth enter at the back of the jaw and replace old and worn teeth at the front. Thought to be their close cousins, the elephants also have teeth that get replaced, but they have a limited set of these replacement teeth.

Amazonian manatees are the smallest species of manatee besides the dwarf manatee. They may reach a length of 9.2 ft females larger than males, and weigh 800 to 1200 lbs. They also lack the nails found on the end of most flippers.

Recently, a closely related but far smaller species, the Dwarf Manatee ("Trichechus bernhardi"), has been described from Brazil by Dr Marc van Roosmalen. Called the "peixe-boi anão" in Brazilian Portuguese, it is about 130 cm (4,2 ft) long and lives in fast-flowing streams. [van Roosmalen, M. G. M. [http://marcvanroosmalen.org/dwarfmanatee.htm "A new species of living manatee from the Amazon."] . Accessed on March 16 2008.] Its validity has later been questioned, with some believing it is an immature Amazonian Manatee. [ [http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/roosmalen-200802.html "Trials of a Primatologist."] - smithsonianmag.com. Accessed March 16, 2008.]

References

* [http://scienceblogs.com/tetrapodzoology/2007/06/multiple_new_species_of_large_1.php Multiple new species of large, living mammals (part III)] - Tetrapod zoology. Accessed March 16, 2008.

ee also

*Evolution of sirenians

External links

*ARKive - [http://www.arkive.org/species/GES/mammals/Trichechus_inunguis/ images and movies of the Amazonian manatee "(Trichechus inunguis)"]
* [http://www.sirenian.org/amazonian.html Amazonian Manatee article at sirenian.org]


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