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The manatee is an aquatic mammal (air breathing, young born alive) which is commonly found in Florida waters. It is a large, slow moving, plant-eating, warm blooded animal. The average adult is about 10 feet long and weighs approximately 1200 pounds. It has a large, seal-like body that tapers to a large flat tail. Its forelimbs are shaped as flippers.
Although usually found in Florida's coastal waters, rivers, and springs, in the colder months some manatees congregate around warm water sources such as the Tampa Electric Company Power Plant water discharge pipes in Tampa Bay near Tampa. Each year, from November 1 to April 15, Tampa Electric welcomes visitors to their Manatee Viewing Center which has an educational exhibit and walkways around the water. Admission is free.
For a preview of the welcome center, visit the Manatee web cam (located here) where you can click on the camera link and actually control where the camera is pointed.
Driving directions to the viewing center can be found at the website given above.
For nature lovers this is an interesting little excursion.