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Sun, Feb

Serene Sirens: USGS Sea Cow Science

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A USGS video about manatees reveals that while the animals may act like the cows of the sea, they also have more than a bit of the magical siren or mermaid about them. 

A USGS video about manatees reveals that while the animals may act like the cows of the sea, they also have more than a bit of the magical siren or mermaid about them. 

It may be hard to believe the legend that sailors long-at-sea once considered manatees to be mermaids. The manatee nickname – the “Sea Cow” – which comes from the herbivores’ affinity for grazing on vegetation and their slow, ambling way just makes more sense. But a U.S. Geological Survey video reveals that while they may be cow-like, they also have more than a bit of the magical mermaid to them.

For nearly four decades, researchers with the USGS Sirenia Project have been committed to understanding the biology and ecology of the threatened West Indian manatee to aid managers in actions that could best help the population. Through long-term, detailed studies on the life history, population dynamics, and ecological requirements of the manatee, USGS scientists work cooperatively with federal and state biologists and managers on research identified as essential for the recovery of the species. To do this, the USGS manatee researchers rely on a variety of tools and techniques; puzzle pieces that come together to form the expertise of the Sirenia Project.

 

Continue reading at USGS (United States Geological Survey).

Image via USGS.