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Baby It's Cold Outside - Manatees Suffer in the Cold
By Joe Tepper, December 12, 2010 @ 04:00 PM (EST)
Source: Reuters

You'd think an animal that eats up to 15% of its body weight in a single day would have no trouble staying warm in the winter.

Unfortunately, a new report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Research Institute has revealed that 699 Florida manatees died in unusually cold weather last year. Of these deaths, 244 were confirmed to be the result of cold water temperatures in 2010, while 271 “unconfirmed” deaths were also likely caused by the cold weather.

"We are very concerned about the unusually high number of manatee deaths this year," Gil McRae, the director of the institute, said in a statement. "The cold-related deaths this past winter emphasize the importance of warm weather habitat to the Florida manatee.

Manatees have a surprisingly low body fat percentage for an animal that size: most of their 1,000 pound body weight is made up of the digestive tract, which can digest up to 150 pounds of greenery per day. With the estimation of Florida manatees down to only 3,000, we can only hope they stay warm this winter.

For more information you can read the Reuter's report.





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