Friday, October 26, 2007

Dwarf Manatee discovered in the Brazilian Amazon

Here's some interesting news at Wildlife about a new dwarf species of Amazonian Manatee discovered by Marc van Roosmalen.
The Amazonian manatee was thought to be the only manatee fully adapted to living in fresh water, until the discovery of the Dwarf manatee, Trichechus Bernardi, or Prince Bernhard’s dwarf manatee.

The story started in September 2002 when Marc van Roosmalen collected a skull of a recently killed adult male. He had to wait for 2 years until he found living proof of the Dwarf manatee, when he was able to study and film a live specimen that was kept in a corral in its natural environment for 4 months.
Dwarf manatees are considered to be critically endangered as they are highly restricted ecologically and geographically. It is thought that there may be less than 100 individuals in this population, and they are not known from any other locality. They are hunted as game, and their habitat is highly susceptible to illegal mining of gravel and gold, timber extraction and commercial fishing.


Anonymous said...

this is a wonderful website! I think it is very informative, my only request is that you add a litle bit more background ifo like the origin of the animal, appearance, most common reason for death and stuff like that! keep u the good work.

-Jonh san francisco, CA

Gareth said...

Thanks for the input. It's definitely been on my roadmap to do exactly what you're asking, but my time has been so severely restricted lately, that I've barely found any time to keep the regular news postings coming. Since I modified the site layout a few months ago, the plan was to make the Animals button lead to a full section with pictures and more information. I'm just not there yet.