When It Rains, The Manatees Drink

Video of manatees in salt water drinking fresh water after a recent rainfall. (Video by Cora Berchem, Save the Manatee Club)

Q. Do manatees in salt water need to drink fresh water?

A. Manatees in salt water are known to actively seek out fresh water to drink. For example, when it rains, fresh rain water runs from the land into nearby salt water. Prior to mixing, this action creates a surface layer of fresh water over the more dense salt water. Manatees can often be seen sipping from the freshwater layer after a rainstorm. Manatee intake of water also occurs while eating aquatic plants as well as actively drinking.

-- Aarin-Conrad Allen, Biologist,
Parker Manatee Aquarium - South Florida Museum


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