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Manatees are found in the West Indies, West Africa, and the Amazon. West Indian and West African manatees can swim in fresh or saltwater, whereas the Amazonian manatee stays in freshwater only. Manatees can range in size from 9-13 feet in length, and can weigh anywhere from 800-3,500 lbs.
Manatees never leave warm water and can hold their breath for 20 minutes, although they usually come up for a breath of air every 3-4 minutes. They are so slow-moving that they often grow algae on their skin. Manatees are herbivores and eat a wide variety of vegetation in the water.