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Testing the Manatee's Eyesight

Manatee's Whisker Sensitivity

Manatee Lung Capacity

Learning About Post-Release

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Testing the lung capacity of manatees! (Click here to view a video clip)

Scientists are using a new technique to measure the volume, flows, and chemical composition of a manatee's breath. Hugh & Buffett have been trained to wait until a resucitator mask is placed over their nostrils before they take a breath!

Here you can see Dr. Barbara Kirkpatrick, a staff scientist here at Mote (in the green parka--yes it does get cold in Florida!) measuring Hugh's respiration. A resucitator mask is attached to a Spirometrics PC Flow spirometer which measures the volume and flow rates of each manatee breath. At present, the manatees are being reinforced for increasingly larger breaths so that true vital lung capacity can be measured.

Dr. Bets Rasmussen, a visiting investigator at Mote from the Oregon Graduate Institute, captures manatee respirations and then analyzes their chemical composition.