man`a*tee"(?), n. [Sp. manat, from the native name in Haiti. Cf. Lamantin.] (Zol.) Any species of Trichechus, a genus of sirenians; -- called also sea cow.
One species (Trichechus Senegalensis) inhabits the west coast of Africa; another (Trichechus Americanus) inhabits the east coast of South America, and the West-Indies. The Florida manatee (Trichechus latirostris) is by some considered a distinct species, by others it is thought to be a variety of Trichechus Americanus. It sometimes becomes fifteen feet or more in length, and lives both in fresh and salt water. It was hunted for its oil and flesh, and every species is now an endangered species.
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