Migration Update: February 18, 2004
Manatees on the Move! Field Notes from Susan Butler
The latest manatee migration data are in, and now you have the latest news on their latest moves. One of the manatees is REALLY on the move, having first swam a substantial distance away from its starting location, and now having made what's looking to be a return trip.
Who's the marathon manatee, and how fast was it swimming? Take a look at the latest data and tracking maps:
to Latest Data and Maps:
Then see if you can answer:
I'll be back again soon with more information! Which manatee will be the big mover next time?
Video Clip: The Mechanics of Manatee Movement
Just how do manatees push, steer, and turn their bodies through the water? Use this video as part of your scientific observation process, and try the Journaling Questions to learn even more:
The Road Less Traveled
Tracking the endangered manatee is very revealing, because it allows scientists to learn about when and where individual manatees migrate. But tracking still leaves many mysteries too. For example, why do some manatees seem quite content to stay near a single area, while others move incredible distances away during the same time frame and conditions? Besides temperature what other factors might influence WHERE a manatee migrates to?
In the lesson below, watch an animation to two manatees taking totally diffferent courses, and see if you can uncover the reasons why individual manatees go where they go. Then try the Journaling Questions to think a little deeper about this:
Turn Left? Turn Right? No, Write!
Like manatees deciding where to swim, everyday we have to decide where to go and maybe what road to take. But did you think that anyone would ever write a poem about it? Well, Robert Frost did, and it's a very famous poem called The Road Not Taken. Here are few lines:
Try This! Write your own masterpiece on manatee migration--go to the lesson:
Then mail us your Masterpiece! Send us your poems, as we may try to share a few of them in the next report. E-mail to: our feedback form
Raise Your Flipper When Your Name is Called
Each day during the winter, Ranger Wayne conducts a manatee "Roll Call" in the Blue Spring Run. His observations are very important, because they offer a rare opportunity to regularly observe the condition and health of individual manatees up close over the winter, and for some manatees over several years.
From his canoe, Ranger Wayne identifies the manatees, records their behaviors and any physical changes, and he counts the total manatees present. He also records temperature readings for the River water, Run water and the Air, as well as noting how far the dark water from the St. John's River comes up into the Run. Ranger records the daily information in his journal, and then later he transfers that data to his daily Attendance Sheets (many times even working on his day off to do all of this).
the Scientist: Ready to Take Roll Call?
Mystery Photo Identified!: Hungry for Geography? Make an Edible Map
In the last report, we gave you a mystery photo. What did it show? It's an edible cookie map of the Blue Spring Run! To get a detailed (and tasty) understanding of the layout of the Run and the Boil at Blue Spring, make and bake this cookie map. You'll really get your hands, eyes and teeth in to this project:
Remember, we'd love to see your prize-winning cookie map--e-mail us a picture! Mail it to: our feedback form
Why Does the Daily Manatee Count Change From Day to Day?
Ranger Wayne's Attendance Sheets show that the number of manatees counted at Blue Spring can vary from day to day. In just the five days shown below, the number of manatees ranged from a low count of 0 manatees to a high count of 125. What might explain this? A table of five days of data from his Attendance Sheets is below. Take a look and then try to answer:
*(All temperatures are in degrees Celcius; "nt" = temperature not taken)
"Got Questions?" Ask the Expert Opening February 27
Is there something about manatees you'd love to know? Begin your brainstorming and collect your questions because Ask the Expert will be opening February 27. Our Expert will be standing by and would love to hear from you.
What's This? Looking Ahead
Do you know what Ranger Wayne is doing in this picture? Next time we'll tell you more about it.
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