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by Sally M. Walker

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Children's Literature
Surely those old sailors must have been pickled in rum to think that manatees were maidens singing their siren songs to the fellows into the sea. Long after that myth has been dispelled, the Latin name Sirenian persists to identify these gentile, undersea mammals now on the Endangered Species list. Readers will be interested to learn that the manatee, an herbivore often called a "sea cow," is most closely related to the hyrax, the elephant, and the aardvark. Manatees are the ones that gradually spent more and more time in the water until their bodies adapted for a largely underwater existence. As mammals, they bear young and suckle them as whales and dolphins do, and like them, they breathe air with lungs, surfacing every two to four minutes. As with many creatures on the Endangered list, manatees and their close relatives, the dugongs, aren't objectionable. But we humans have invaded their habitat with homes and racing boats, and ocean dwellers can't get out of our way fast enough. Although teaching us about manatees, this book raises one main question--how can we intelligently share our planet so that thousands of species do not become extinct every week, as they're currently doing? (The Stellar's sea cow, another Sirenian, is already extinct). The author closes with ways people are trying to protect manatees, which is a positive note. Many excellent photos, an index and glossary complete this outstanding text in the Carolrhoda "Nature Watch" series. 1999, Carolrhoda Books, Ages 8 to 12, $22.60. Reviewer: Joan Carris

Product Details

Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
Nature Watch Series
Product dimensions:
8.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
8 - 11 Years

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