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  • Student Answers for Challenge Question # 3

    From: FLORIDA
    I think that the manatee cannot tolerate cold water while a larger marine animal like the whale because of evolution. Both mammals are very old. Through this time of their existance our planet has changed drastically. When we went through the ice age, whales may have been in the frigid north and manatees in the south. Whales probably had to adjust and become bigger and fatter to feel warmer. Manatees may have stayed in the warmer climates and didn't have to adjust as much, therefore they cannot survive in the artic climate. Nicole Hoffman
    Largo High School
    410 Missouri Ave.
    Largo, FL 33770
    shapiroa (

    From: VERMONT
    Ferrisburgh Central School students think that the manatee can not tolerate the cold water as much as a whale because the manatee doesn't eat as much high calorie food. They eat seaweed and plants, while whales eat krill and plankton. You have to eat a lot of seaweed to get energy.
    Linda Thurber (

    From: COLORADO
    We think the reason why manatees can not tolerate cold water while other large marine mammals like the whale can is because the manatee has adapted to all kinds of water. Because it migrates up and down the east and western coast of Florida. But the manatee has only adapted to the warmer waters of southern Florida. Not to mention the whale is bigger and has more blubber to protect it from the colder water. But the manatee does not have all of the fat.
    From: Angivine Middle School
    Lafayette, CO
    Brian Harris, Leah Taylor, Jeana Delamarter,El Sacry

    From: ONTARIO
    We think a manatee can not tolerate cold water like a whale because a whale has 'more fat and blubber' than a manatee. So a whale has a better chance of keeping themselves warm. Amber Dunphy and Stefanie Ferguson, gr. 5
    Bobcaygeon Public School
    Bobcaygeon, Ontario
    kevin adams (
    Lisa McGinley (

    Dear Journey North:
    Because a whale is larger and has more body fat to keep it warm, it can withstand the cold. Amanda Law & Allison Perkins
    Mrs. McGinley's Class
    Maryville, TN.

    From: NEW YORK
    Ms. Lobb's period 6 class from Hudson Falls Middle School, Hudson Falls, New York answers:
    Manatees are smaller than the whale so they can't maintain a constant body temperature or generate enough. They also do not have as much blubber as a whale. The whale is about ten times the size of the manatee. Manatees are usually 12.7 to 13 feet. Most whales that live in colder waters are 5 times that size.
    Hudson Falls Middle School (

    From: NEW YORK
    Ms. Lobb's period 5 class from Hudson Falls Middle School, Hudson Falls, New York answers: The manatee has a smaller body mass and can not tolerate the cold water.
    Hudson Falls Middle School (

    I think that manatees are more sensitive to colder climates because they evolved in different, warmer climates than other large mammals. They have a different metabolism.