Meet A Manatee: Deep Dent

Known to be a bit shy, he is somewhat of a loner and is named for his distinctive scars

Updated September 15, 2022

Deep Dent the manatee on the spring floor. Two small scars are seen on his left shoulder-area.
Deep Dent at Blue Spring State Park. He was named for a a deep, dent-like scar on his back.

Deep Dent is a male manatee and first appeared at the warm waters of Blue Spring State Park in the winter of 1979. We don’t know where he wintered before that, but we do know he must have liked what he saw, because Deep Dent has come back to Blue Spring many winters since that time.

You might be wondering how Deep Dent got his name. It’s because he first received a deep “dent-like” scar on his tail. Later, he got another one on his head, and he also has extensive scarring on his back. In the summer of 2010, Deep Dent received another “deep dent” in the middle of his lower back, along with a section taken out of his tail. Deep Dent got these scars when he met up with motorboats and propellers, and he was definitely on the losing side of those encounters. Manatees usually only travel three to five miles per hour, and Deep Dent is proof that they are no match for fast-moving boats.

Deep Dent the manatee is seen in profile, with his head facing to the left of the photo. Several white scars are seen on his body.
Deep Dent in profile. He enjoys traveling and is known to sometimes skip a winter season at Blue Spring State Park.

Deep Dent is known to be a bit shy, and he is somewhat of a loner. This is not unusual for manatees. They are what is called “semi-social” animals and can be found traveling alone or occasionally with other manatees. Manatees sometimes meet in small, informal groups, but they have no leader or real herd structure. When manatees gather, it is mainly due to common habitat requirements such as warm water or food, or for mating purposes.

Manatee researchers have documented that many manatees have preferred habitats they return to each year. Although Deep Dent appears to have adopted Blue Spring as his primary wintering area, he hasn’t fully committed to the park yet. His desire to travel and see other sites occasionally leads him to skip a season at Blue Spring or to depart early in the season for other destinations. This is not unusual for manatees who sometimes explore alternate warm-water sites in the winter.

During manatee season, check our Blue Spring webcams for updates on the latest news on Deep Dent and other Blue Spring manatees.

You can adopt Deep Dent or other manatees!
Each person who adopts her will receive a full-color photo, biography, and adoption certificate, as well as a membership handbook and subscription to The Manatee Zone, a newsletter featuring updates on the adopted manatees when they are sighted, and Paddle Tales, Save the Manatee Club’s bi-monthly eNewsletter.
Adopt for Myself Adopt for Someone Else Educator Adoption
For more information, visit the Adopt-A-Manatee page, or call 1-800-432-JOIN (5646).