Amazonian Manatee

Amazonian Manatee Range Map (Amazon Basin, S America)
Amazonian Manatee Range Map
(Amazon Basin, S America)

Latin Name Trichechus inunguis
Conservation Status Vulnerable
Location Amazon Basin , S America
Colour Grey/Brown
Length 3 m (10 ft)
Weight 450 Kgs (1,000 lbs)
Life Expectancy

Up to 60 Yrs

Main Characteristics

Amazonian Manatees are the smallest species of manatee. They reach lengths of approximately 3 m (10 ft) and they weigh in the region of 450 Kgs (1,000 lbs). They are grey/brown in colour and they have a sparse scattering of short hair on their body. Their skin is thick and beneath it they have a layer of fat.

Their body is large and rounded, and they have a paddle like tail fluke. Their front limbs act as flippers and they are agile in water.

They have a small head with a broad muzzle that is adapted for feeding on aquatic plants. Their eyes are small and they rely on their senses of hearing and touch.

Amazonian Manatees feed on abrasive plants and because of this their teeth are constantly being worn down. To counteract this their teeth are continually being replaced throughout their life.


Amazonian Manatees are found in the Amazon River and its tributaries. They live exclusively in freshwater and prefer blackwater lakes, oxbows and lagoons. They are mainly solitary but sometimes they will gather in small groups consisting of up to 8 individuals.


Amazonian Manatees feed upon aquatic plants such as aquatic grasses and water lilies. They mainly feed during the wet season when new vegetation is abundant, but they may fast for weeks or months during the dry season when food is scarce.


Amazonian Manatees tend to breed throughout the year, although in some areas of the Amazon Basin breeding is seasonal. After a gestation period of 12 months a single calf is born. After a few weeks the calf will begin to eat vegetation but they will stay with their mother for 12 - 18 months until they are weaned.

During the time spent with their mother the calves will learn feeding areas, resting areas and migration routes.

When females begin to reproduce they will give birth every second year.


Humans are the main predators of Amazonian Manatees.


There are no subspecies of the Amazonian Manatee.

Interesting Facts

Amazonian Manatees are also known as:
Amazon Manatee
Sea Cow

Similar Animals

West Indian Manatee
West African Manatee


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