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Manatees

Manatees: Our Vanishing Mermaids.

MANATEES are among nature's strangest-looking gentlest animals. They're among America's most endangered mammals and were the basis for ancient tales of mermaids, the legendary creatures that were half-fish and half-human.

Learn More About

  • Where to see manatees
  • Why manatees may be living fossils
  • How habitat destruction threatens their survival
  • Why manatees "kiss"
  • The interesting and unique life cycle of the manatee
  • Why early explorers thought manatees had healing powers
  • How Indians treated these "big beavers"

M. Timothy O'Keefe fell under the siren spell of the manatee in the 1970s. Beginning with articles and photos in The Florida Naturalist, the magazine of the Florida Audubon Society, he was among the first to attract national attention to the manatee's plight. The Florida Audubon Society honored him with a Special Award for his sustained educational efforts. His manatee photos have appeared in National Geographic books, Time-Life Books, Sports Afield, airline magazines and encyclopedias. He is the author of Diving to Adventure and co-author of the award-winning Fish & Dive The Caribbean and Fish & Dive Florida & The Keys. Tim holds a PhD from the University of North Carolina and is a Professor of Communication at the University of Central Florida.

By M. Timothy O'Keefe.

Engelstalig, zwart/wit foto's.

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