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Cover image of Florida Manatees
Cover image of Florida Manatees
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Florida Manatees

Biology, Behavior, and Conservation

John E. Reynolds III
photographs by Wayne Lynch

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A photographic journey into the secret world of Florida’s beloved manatee.

Winner of the CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title of the Choice ACRL

Manatees, the gentle giants of Florida's lagoons and coastal habitats, can bring a smile to the face of anybody lucky enough to spy one. As manatees dip and roll through the water, crowds gather to watch them feed on aquatic vegetation. Whether they are congregating by the hundreds or resting or feeding alone, viewing these sea cows can provide anyone interested in nature with hours of tranquil pleasure.

Having survived for eons, today's manatees are now…

A photographic journey into the secret world of Florida’s beloved manatee.

Winner of the CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title of the Choice ACRL

Manatees, the gentle giants of Florida's lagoons and coastal habitats, can bring a smile to the face of anybody lucky enough to spy one. As manatees dip and roll through the water, crowds gather to watch them feed on aquatic vegetation. Whether they are congregating by the hundreds or resting or feeding alone, viewing these sea cows can provide anyone interested in nature with hours of tranquil pleasure.

Having survived for eons, today's manatees are now under constant threat due to our rapidly swelling human population. Their habitats are often devastated by development and pollution. The slow-moving manatees also live at the mercy of chance, for they occupy waters filled with fast-moving boats powered by razor-sharp propellers—a new form of predator from which they have no protection. Boat speed limits have been put in place to protect manatees, but there is a constant push to lift them so that people can once again zip across the waters that manatees call home. For this reason, manatees are often a subject of controversy that pits their lives against the rights of boat owners.

In this book, manatee expert John E. Reynolds III and famed photographer Wayne Lynch join forces to reveal the clearest portrait of manatees ever published. Florida Manatees is a song for the manatee, a celebration of the lives of these majestic creatures. Reynolds's concise, informative text shares what scientists know about manatees, while Lynch's beautiful photographs instantly demonstrate how special these "potatoes with whiskers" really are. By encouraging an appreciation of manatees, the authors hope to help ensure a future in which Floridians can find ways to coexist with and continue to enjoy these uniquely wonderful sirenian inhabitants of their state.

Included in this book:
How manatees first came to Florida waters
How manatees fit into the ecosystems of Florida
What and how much manatees eat
How manatees behave and communicate with one another
Why manatees look the way they do
Why manatees have whiskers
How manatee mothers feed their young and much more

Reviews

Reviews

The result is a lovely book that sounds as though it would appeal primarily to scientists, but which offers inviting color photos and history that make it accessible to lay audiences both within Florida and outside the state.

Perusal of the numerous photographs located throughout the book is an enjoyable pastime. However, to do so, to treat this simply as a coffee-table book, would be a mistake; the photographs are striking and attractive, but the text relays interesting information about manatees and their management, an aspect of the book that should not be ignored.

With its large format and high-quality paper, allowing Wayne Lynch’s gorgeous images to shine, one could be forgiven for assuming this was a mere coffee table book – but that would be to do the excellent text a disservice.

If the image on the cover does not entice the reader, a look at page 50 surely will: it shows a manatee hugging a human diver. The book focuses on the beauty, grace and vulnerability of these herbivores, but it also covers other sea mammals and their habitats.

This book makes a valuable contribution to awareness of manatees and will be of interest to curious nature lovers, natural science students, and young scientists taking their first steps on their scientific career path.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
9
x
11
Pages
160
ISBN
9781421421919
Illustration Description
141 color photos
Table of Contents

1. From a Bluff on Guadeloupe
2. A Hodge-Podge of Adaptations
3. Evolution
4. The Stuff of Myths and Legends
5. Behavior and Ecology
6. Reproduction and Life History
7. Habitat Protection
8. Conservation

1. From a Bluff on Guadeloupe
2. A Hodge-Podge of Adaptations
3. Evolution
4. The Stuff of Myths and Legends
5. Behavior and Ecology
6. Reproduction and Life History
7. Habitat Protection
8. Conservation Threats
9. Conservation Solutions
Epilogue
Selected References and Further Reading
Index

Author Bios
Featured Contributor

John E. Reynolds III, Ph.D.

John E. Reynolds III is the senior scientist at Mote Marine Laboratory's Manatee Research Program and the former chair of the US Marine Mammal Commission. He is the coeditor of Marine Mammal Research: Conservation beyond Crisis and the coauthor of Mysterious Manatees.
Wayne Lynch
Featured Contributor

Wayne Lynch

Wayne Lynch began work as a full-time science writer and photographer in 1979. Today he is the author of numerous award-winning books and television documentaries and one of Canada's best-known and most widely published photographers. His books include Wild Birds across the Prairies; Mountain Bears; A Is for Arctic; and Penguins of the World. He lives in Calgary, Alberta.
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