Manatees (family Trichechidae, genus Trichechus) often referred, as sea cows are large water mammals. The Trichechidae differ from the Dugongidae in the skull and tail shape. Manatees contain a paddle-shaped tail, while the Dugong possesses a forked tail. Manatee is an herbivorous animal that grazes in shallow waters.The shallow marshy coastal area of North, Central, and South America, and the Caribbean Sea houses the Manatee.

The West African Manatee (Trichechus senegalensis) is present in the west coast of Africa. Amazonian Manatee (T. inunguis) lives in the interior rivers of tropical South America, west to the Peruvian Amazon.

The West Indian Manatee (T. manatus) is present in the West Indies and the Caribbean Sea to the southern Gulf of Mexico and the northeast coast of South America to the mouth of the Amazon River. Some people consider these manatees as distinct species, but ITIS treats it as a subspecies of T. manatus, and this is now accepted. The length of the animal is 15 feet long, and it can live in both fresh and salt water. Poachers hunted this animal for its flesh and oil but now this is a protected animal.

The West Indian Manatee comes under the category of endangered species. This animal does not have any natural predators but human expansion has made this animal extinct. The propellers of outboard motor boats in the coastal marsh areas have injured some of these animals. Manatees sometimes unknowingly consume fishing gear like the hooks, metal weights, etc during feeding. These foreign materials do not seem to harm manatees, except for monofilament line or string. This is like a slow poison, which will get clogged in the digestive system of the manatee.

The water control structures such as the navigation locks, floodgates, etc sometimes crush these manatees.
Manatees like to live in warm waters so they often gather together near power plants, which warm the waters. Some have become dependent on this source of unnatural heat and have ceased migrating to warmer waters. Some power plants have recently been closing and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are trying to find a new way to heat the water for these manatees.