The West Indian Manatee includes the subspecies Trichecus manatus latirostris, the Florida Manatee. This is the species that likes to loll around the river heads of central-southern Florida during the winter, leading to the development of several “manatee parks” that let tourists and residents view the overwintering creatures, while also providing rehabilitation to the injured and an especially strongly protected area for the wild individuals.
Manatees belong to the order Sirenia, which also includes dugongs and the extinct Stellar’s sea cow. Unlike other marine mammals, Sirenia are primarily herbivorous, though they are opportunistic feeders and will consume small fish and crustaceans when they’re nearby.
Biologia centrali-americana: Mammalia. Edward Richard Alston, 1882.