Thursday, October 26, 2006

Manatee technicality

Hey, I just wanted to let you know that manatees can support their own weight. Their bones are very dense and solid, unlike whales or dolphins. So they are fine being out of the water for a while. Our girls did just fine, not to worry.

Bones
The manatees anatomy includes the densest bones on earth. Except the sternum and some of the vertebrae of the spine, manatee bones have no marrow at all. These dense bones act like the ballast in a submarine, weighing it down so that when it compresses and shifts the distribution of air in its lungs by use of the diaphragm, a manatee can swiftly sink to the bottom.
They are quite stout, built to carry the large frame of this giant creature. Manatee flippers contain bones that appear surprisingly delicate, and note the five fingers of the "hand." These finger bones are believed, by some to be vestigial remnants of their ancestral terrestrial life.

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