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Manatee Migration Update: March 17, 2004

Today's Report Includes:

Field Notes from Susan Butler: What's Attracting Manatees Offshore?

Hi Students,

Latest "All Manatee" Migration Map
Click on Map to Enlarge

It's a really exciting time to track the manatees. As you'll discover in today's maps and data(on Web), several manatees have now been traveling offshore to the outer islands of TTI and Cape Romano.

This time of year, we do tend to see them making regular trips to these outer islands. Do you have any idea what might be taking them out there? Or what they're up to once they get there? Can you identify which manatees have been going "offshore"? Think through what you already know about why manatees move where they do when they do. Then see if you can answer:

Challenge Question #12:
"Why do you think some manatees have been visiting offshore areas now? What are they finding there? And why do they wait until now? (Hint: What do you feel like doing on the first warm days of spring after being cooped up in your classroom all winter?)

(To respond to this question, please follow the instructions below.)

Link to Latest Data and Individual Manatee Maps:
(Courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey's Sirenia Project)

Good luck and I'll have more news again soon.
Susan Butler
Sirenia Project

Ranger Wayne's Video Challenge Part II: Can You ID a Moving Manatee?

Hello again Students and Manatee Sleuths,

Now that you've mastered manatee identification from still photos, do you think you're ready to identify a moving manatee? Manatees usually don't sit still for me, so let's have you give it a try too:

Challenge Question #13:
"Look carefully at the swimming manatee from head to peduncle: Who is the mystery manatee in the video?"

(To respond to this question, please follow the instructions below.)

Climb In the Classroom Cockpit!
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to ride in the airplane for one of the aerial manatee counts? How high would you fly? What kind of plane would you use? What would you watch for? And what possible connection is there between Rice Krispies and doing aerial manatee counts?

Well climb aboard and get ready for take-off, because today is your chance to find out! And after you've safely landed, come back and try making an Aerial Manatee count for yourself, below.

Link to: Ackerman Flight Notes, Photos and Video

Instructional Strategy Spotlight: ListMaker Activity
What do the manatees look like to you from up in the air? Airborne's Ackerman's favorite description was that they looked a little like Rice Krispies in coffee. But we bet you can come up with some other descriptions. What do the manatees look like to you? Brainstorm a list of all the things you can think of that manatees might look like to you from an airplane.

What's Your Aerial Manatee Count?
Now that you're safely back on Earth, sitting in the comfort of your classroom chairs, can you count each and every one of the manatees that scientists saw in this photo?

Challenge Question #14:
"How many manatees can you count in this aerial photo?"

Step 1: Wide Aerial View

Click this image to survey the WIDE aerial view.

(This may require moving the slider bars on your browser. )

But there's good reason we gave you this wide view--can you see it? Look carefully, and don't forget to survey everywhere in the water--you never know where the manatees might be.

Step 2: Printable View
Click, Print and Count!

Click this image to print and begin your count.

(Hint: print this photo and circle each manatee as you count.)

But wait! This image will print showing ALMOST all of the manatees--be sure to look at the wide view again to see if any manatees out of view in this frame. It can affect your count by one!)

(To respond to this question, please follow the instructions below.)

Now Playing: Amazing Manatee Adaptations: Lungs
In addition to their behavioral adaptations (such as migrating to avoid cold temperatures), manatees also have several unique PHYSICAL adaptations. We'll talk about several of these adaptations over the next few weeks.

Lung Power! Breathing/Respiration
With just one breath, a manatee can stay underwater resting for 15-20 minutes. But, does that necessarily mean they have more lung power than humans? After all, we can run 26 mile marathons and do all sorts of super-human feats. Mote Marine Lab scientists wanted to know who had more lung power, and they lined up a manatee and a human to put them both to the test below. We've got it on video, but before watching, take a deep breath and try this first:

Journaling Question:
"Who do you think has more lung power--you or a manatee?" To help you answer this question, see:

Link to: Manatee Adaptations Lesson and Videos


Take a deep breath and blow into the Spirometer!
Mote Marine Laboratory

How to Respond to Today's Challenge Questions:

IMPORTANT: Answer only ONE question in each e-mail message.

1. Address an e-mail message to:

2. In the Subject Line of your message write: Challenge Question #12, (OR #13 OR #14)

3. In the body of EACH message, give your answer to ONE of the questions above.

The Next Manatee Migration Update Will Be Posted on March 24, 2004.


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