Interaction With Other Species

While many people think that alligators may be a threat to manatees, it is frequently the manatee that initiates the interaction. Some curious manatees will follow the alligators around, while the alligators try to avoid them. (Photo © Patrick M. Rose, Save the Manatee Club)


Q. Do manatees in the wild interact with other species?
--Mimi Mericle, California

A. Wild manatees do interact with a variety of other species. One such species is the American alligator. While many people think that alligators may be a threat to manatees, it is frequently the manatee that initiates the interaction. Some curious manatees will follow the alligators around, while the alligators try to avoid them. Another interaction that is commonly seen is the interaction with manatees and armored catfish. Armored catfish are an invasive species that have entered the Blue Spring system in Florida. They annoy the manatees, because they are frequently seen attempting to eat the algae off the back of manatees. This interaction can disturb manatees, which can be detrimental to them in the winter time when they need to be resting. Some of these different interactions between manatees and other species can be viewed on the Blue Spring webcams at manatv.org.

--Kelsey Jennings, Save the Manatee Club Staff Biologist

 

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Click the following link or the arrow above to see video of a manatee mom and calf and a large alligator from our Blue Spring web cams.The alligator makes an appearance at about 3:56 minutes into the video. Total length: 10 min. 29 sec. (© Save the Manatee Club)


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