“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fort Myers in Lee County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)

Relatives and Relationships

Relatives and Relationships Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, October 16, 2015
1. Relatives and Relationships Marker
Inscription. The manatee’s closest living relative is the elephant. They have a number of features in common. Manatees have a flexible prehensile lip that functions in a similar way to the trunk of an elephant. It grabs vegetation and places it in the animal’s mouth. Can you find other similarities below?


• Herbivore: plant eaters
• Nurse calf from behind flippers
• Mother cares for calf for two years
• Thick hide with hair covering body
• Toenails on flippers

• Herbivore: plant eaters
• Nurse calf from behind front legs
• Mother cares for calf for three to five years
• Thick hide with hair covering body
• Toenails on toes

Prehensile Lip (Manatee)
Prehensile Trunk (Elephant)
Toenails (Manatee)
Toenails (Elephant)
Nursing (Manatee)
Nursing (elephant)

Manatee Young
Female manatees reach sexual maturity at age 3 but will not breed successfully until 6 to 10 years of age. Males are sexually mature at the age of two. Manatee mating herds are made up of sexually mature males and females. Within any given mating herd of manatees, there will be more males than females. Many males will court one female manatee within a breeding herd from a week to one month. Only persistent males will be successful.

Reproductive Rates
Manatees reproduce very slowly. Female carry the young up to 13 months before giving birth and usually produce a single calf with each pregnancy. Although calving occurs year round, there is generally a two to five-year span before females reproduce again.

Did you know?
Calves will remain dependent on their mothers for up to two years. Young manatee calves nurse from their mothers under water and are able to begin nibbling on aquatic vegetation a few weeks after birth.
Location. 26° 41.59′ N, 81° 46.666′ W. Marker is in Fort Myers, Florida, in Lee County. Marker is on Palm Beach Boulevard. Touch for map. Marker is located inside park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 10901 Palm Beach blvd, Fort Myers FL 33905, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Tracking Manatees (here, next to this marker); Manatee Young (here, next to this marker); Pine Flatwoods Habitat (here, next to this marker); Scrub Oak Habitat (here, next to this marker); Responsible Fishing (here, next to this marker); Boating with Wildlife (here, next to this marker); Mangroves - Trees of the Sea (here, next to this marker); Munching Manatees (here, next to this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Myers.
Categories. AnimalsEnvironment

Credits. This page was last revised on August 30, 2017. This page originally submitted on August 7, 2017, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. This page has been viewed 79 times since then and 11 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on August 7, 2017, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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