Wednesday, March 7, 2012

More Manatee Mania!

 Florida 2012 continued.

I promised more manatee photos and here they are!  As I said in my last post, we spent close to an hour watching these gentle creatures rolling and cavorting in the shallow waters of the Blue Spring Run.  Flippers, snouts, tails--all manner of body parts were rising, rolling and splashing.  It was an amazing sight and an incredible experience and I have a whole new opinion about these beautiful creatures.

We watched several pairs frolicking, although at least one pair wasn't a pair at all but a triplet.  These two look like they're smooching!

Nose holes open...

Nose holes closed.

Manatee hugs.  Click on this image and you can see their spikey little hairs!

You can clearly see three manatees in this photo--two noses and one back.

Algae actually grows on the backs of these slow-moving, shallow-water creatures.

I love this shot.  I had no idea manatees had toenails until I looked at this picture later that night.  I then read that they have three nails, but I'm pretty sure I see four.

This shot is a bit blurry but I love how you can see, thanks to the angle of the light, all of its finger bones.  It's one way you know these were once animals that walked on dry land.

We kept hearing the sound of them exhaling as they'd come up for air, and I was so excited when I caught one in the act.

Every once in a while one would surface and just sort of hang there, as if posing.  I think this manatee looks a lot like a walrus from this angle.   Look at that fuzzy snout!!

I will have one more batch of photos and then I'll move on to the first of my bird "firsts" on this trip, as well as our sojourn into the Canaveral National Seashore.

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