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!
#9 – Manatee Mother And Cute Calf – This little manatee calf is rising to the surface all on its own to take a breath. Does this mother manatee have any less pride than a human mother showing off her child’s early steps? I think the pride is evident — and evidently, adorably cute!
#8 – Manatee Mother With Calf In Tow – Little manatees like to wander and play (they aren’t so different from human children). Smart manatee moms know the score and how to keep track of their youngster’s escapades. Towing your little manatee calf under your tail while you swim takes a mound of coordination and results in a scene that showcases a smart mother gently guiding her really cute manatee calf!
#7 – Manatee Calf With Sun Rays – Manatee kids don’t need any company to be cute as there is enough included in the little calf package to live up to being completely adorable all by themselves. Bumpy skin, wrinkles, dark expressive eyes, mini-whiskers, buoyancy like a mini-blimp, all in a clear blue-water Florida spring setting with sun rays, results in a baby marine mammal that is adorable!
#6 – Manatee Mother Nurses Adoptee While Calf Waits – Manatee images can be cute and still very poignant. Documented and IDed by researchers, this manatee mom nurses a little female orphan manatee while her rather rotund calf waits, not-so-patiently, in the shadows. I love the older female calf’s somewhat curmudgeonly expression as her mother feeds her adopted sibling and she has to wait, out of the sunlight, with nothing to do.
#5 – Father In Kayak Observes Manatee Calf – Over / Under split-level photographs capture aspects of the manatee’s home that no other photograph can. Not only is there a really cute manatee calf below, tailed by fish in the springs, but also a father observes the charismatic little calf while his own baby daughter sleeps in the kayak, her face just visible. Could human baby and manatee baby possibly melt one’s heart more?
#4 – Manatee Calf Snout and Light – A curious baby manatee showing off its bristling whiskers, round nostrils and bumpy snout, while rubbing its flippers together lit by dramatic sunlight — that’s a recipe for an over-the-top cute manatee photograph!
#3 – Little Boy Blue Manatee – On a very cold day in 2010 many manatees gathered for warmth. Most were visibly stressed while enduring the record cold temperatures, but not this rotund little orphan calf! I spied him nursing off at least two different females, and while he was constantly monitored by officials, there seems to be nothing to worry about as he floats over the clear blue-water springhead, seemingly without a care in the world. He is so cute that American Greetings bought rights to use him on a card — keep an eye out for it!
#2 – Manatee Kisses – Yes, manatees kiss! “Kissing” seems to be a tactile and vocalized communication and is often a manatee display of affection. It’s adorably cute. Even though this female manatee is not this male calf’s mother, she checked on him while he was alone in the springs and coaxed him into some comforting “kisses”. It makes you feel like all is going to be right with the world, doesn’t it?
#1 – Mother Manatee With Her Curious Calf – Number one is really hard to pick — I mean really really hard. Manatee calves are just so cute and I have so many to choose from! So I’ll let others decide. By popular demand and comments I’ve received this manatee calf is the #1 cutest. Maybe it’s the wrinkles, the bumpy skin, the innocent curiosity, the sculling little flippers or the precious snout, but I think it is the exquisite mirroring of curious calf and mother manatee. Mother manatees are very in-sync with their babies and this mom doubly so in this peaceful scene.
For you that are new to or already familiar with my manatee photography, did I pick your favorite manatee kids? Head on over to my new Manatee Kids Collection and let me know what your favorites are out of my 230+ manatee calf images populating five galleries. See how hard it is? 🙂 Let me know what you pick as #1- #10, I’d love to know your opinions…
Best, Carol Grant