Florida Manatee at Crystal River, Florida
  The Florida manatee is typically found in shallow rivers, bays, estuaries and coastal waters. This Florida manatee was photographed at Three Sister's Springs in the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge. Manatees seek these warm water springs during the winter time in order to stay warm as temperatures below 68 degrees Fahrenheit can kill them. Learn more about Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge.  

Florida manatee photograph
  The Florida manatees, distant relatives of the elephant, are herbivores who feed primarily on sea grasses and freshwater vegetation. The Florida manatee can reach lengths of up to 10-12 feet and up to 1,800 lbs. They can live up to 60 years in the wild. Due to natural and human causes, the manatee is currently listed in the endangered species act. Learn more about the Florida manatee.  

Bahamas tropical island photo
  This photograph was taken on the eastern end of Grand Bahamas. The Bahamas is an archipelago nation with about 700 tropical islands and 2000 cays covering an area of about 100,000 square miles. Some of the oldest underwater caves in the world exist in the Bahamas.  

Largest nesting site in the world for loggerhead sea turtles
  Florida is the second largest nesting site in the world for the endangered loggerhead sea turtle. In 2012, the state totals for loggerhead sea turtle nests were 98,601. Each nest contains an average of about 100 eggs. Learn more about loggerhead sea turtles.  

Octopus with eggs
  A female octopus will meticulously care for her eggs until the baby octopus hatch sometime between a few weeks to 10 months, depending on the particular octopus species. She will constantly blow oxygenated water across the grape-like strands of eggs using her siphon in order to keep them clean. She never leaves the den, foregoing the opportunity to feed, in order to protect the octopus eggs.  

Caribbean reef shark swims over coral reef
  Caribbean reef sharks are viviparous species, giving birth to live young. Litters of Caribbean reef sharks average between 4-6 pups. It is believed larger sharks, such as the tiger shark and bull shark, are one of the Caribbean reef shark's main predators. Learn more about the Caribbean reef shark.  

  • Florida Manatee at Crystal River, Florida
  • Florida manatee photograph
  • Bahamas tropical island photo
  • Largest nesting site in the world for loggerhead sea turtles
  • Octopus with eggs
  • Caribbean reef shark swims over coral reef
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