Manatees might be known as a “sea cow” but that doesn’t mean they can’t get in shape a little for the summer by hitting the treadmill. Researchers at Florida’s Mote Marine Laboratory are using an underwater treadmill to measure the metabolism of manatees.
Resident manatees Hugh and Buffett breath into a “metabolic dome” while swimming to help calculate the amount of energy being expended. The manatees are in training five days a week in preparation for the study in the winter and the summer. The researchers hope to share the metabolism data with manatee rehab centers around the world.
"If we get a better understanding of their physiology by doing this research project with Hugh and Buffett, then we have one more parameter that we can give to the rehab facilities, so they can test that these animals are really ready to get back into the wild," Kat Boerner, Senior Aquarium Biologist at Mote Marine Laboratory, told ABC 7 WWSB in Florida.
Looking fabulous, Hugh and Buffett.
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