Although all manatee species are endangered, our knowledge of how these animals function in the wild is lacking. Hugh and Buffett are helping us learn more by participating in several behavioral research programs. Here at Mote, we are trying to answer some of the most basic questions including: How well does a manatee see? What is the function of the manatee's facial whiskers (called vibrissae)? How much air does a manatee take in when it breathes? And finally, how can we help sick and injured manatees do better once they are released back into the wild?
Research programs designed to help answer these questions include: Visual Acuity Testing (scientific abstract), Vibrissae Tactile Acuity Testing, a Lung Capacity Study, and a Creatinine Study (scientific abstract). Please click on any of these links to learn more about each project. Knowledge gained through research with Mote Marine Laboratory's captive manatees can be applied to manatees in the wild in order to help this species recover.
Please click here to find out about Mote's research with free-ranging manatees.