Movies often evoke dramatic thoughts and pictures, even years later. Such is the case when I saw the movie “The Godfather”. In a suspenseful moment, after Sal Tessio retrieved a package including a fish, Clemenza says , “It’s a Sicilian message. It means Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes.” I must admit I got chills when I first saw it and I never forgot that scene. But now something’s changed and I can’t quite conjure up the drama connected with that scene. Why, you ask? I think this photograph will explain why…
Manatee Sleeps With The Fishes — January 10, 2014
Manatees “sleep with fishes” and they do seem to enjoy it so!
Manatees gather together in the wintertime at various warm water sites around Florida. Some of these manatees frequent natural freshwater springs. Fish also enjoy congregating near the outflows of spring water. It is here that manatees and a number of fish species share the same watery real estate until the weather warms and manatees spread out again. While together in the springs fish often surround manatees as illustrated in this photograph:
Fish Gather Around A Manatee In The Springs
Interaction between fish and manatees is an interesting behavior to observe. In fact some fish, particularly bream also known as sunfish (Lepomis spp.) and sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus) are known to continually surround and peck at the manatee’s skin especially while they are resting. Note the bream below are nipping this manatee:
Manatees are curious, gentle, charismatic, and appealing marine mammals, and manatee kids are ten-times so! Whether it’s investigating everything around and about, learning the art of flipper-turning, demonstrating new buoyancy and swimming skills, fine-tuning snout rubbing, meeting other manatees, exploring or just being the subject of its mother’s pride, manatee kid’s antics are just plan cute!
Here are my Top 10 Cute Manatee Kids (all linked from my new Oceangrant.com website that includes many additional photographs of manatee calf cuteness):
#10 – Mother Manatee with Calf Behind – How cute is this? Not only are this mother manatee and her male calf floating peacefully with beautiful reflections in the calm waters, but junior has his snout touching mom’s behind. Awwwww!