The West Indian or Florida manatee (and sometimes called sea cow) is found primarily along the coast of Florida. Most adult manatees are about 10 feet long and weight 800 to 1,200 pounds, although some larger than 12 feet and weighing as much as 3,500 pounds have been recorded. These "gentle giants" have a tough, wrinkled brown-to-gray skin continuously being sloughed off. Hair is distributed sparsely over the body. With stiff whiskers around its mouth, the manatee's face looks like a walrus without tusks..."
United States Fish and Wildlife Service
WEEKI WACHEE SPRING
Weeki Wachee is a 200 acre family entertainment park featuring a live underwater show. Mermaids gliding through the water can be seen by audiences watching from the world's only underwater artesian spring theater. Other attractions include the "Birds & Animal Show," the Wilderness River Cruise, Canoe Rides and the beautiful Buccaneer Bay Water Park.
The park is located forty-five minutes north of St. Petersburg at U.S. 19 and State Road 50.
HOMOSASSA SPRINGS STATE WILDLIFE PARK
A state park and showcase for Florida wildlife and a rehabilitation facility for manatees that have been injured. This Park offers visitors an excellent opportunity to observe native animals, birds and plants in their natural setting. There are three information/education programs presented by Park employees each day.
Located on U.S. 19, 75 miles north of St. Petersburg in Homosassa, Florida. Phone - (352) 628-5343.
Visit the Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park Web Site
Total land area - 54,252 square miles
Total water area - 4,308 square miles
Rank among state in total area - 22nd
Length north and south - 447 miles (St. Mary's River to Key West)
Width east and west - 361 miles (Atlantic Ocean to Perdido River)
Distance from Pensacola to Key West - 792 miles (by road)
Highest Natural Point - 345 feet near Lakewood in northeast Walton Co.
Geographic Center - 12 m. northwest of Brooksville, Hernando County
Coastline - 1,197 statute miles
Beaches - 663 miles
Longest River - St. Johns, 273 miles
Largest Lake - Lake Okeechobee, 700 square miles
Largest County - Palm Beach
Smallest County - Union
1st Permanent European Settlement - 1565, St. Augustine, by Spain
U.S. Territory - 1821
Admitted to U.S. as state - March 3, 1845 (27th state)
Capital - Tallahassee
Florida Department of State
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