If you are contemplating an Everglades airboat ride out of the Fort Lauderdale area, you are probably excited about the possibility of spotting alligators on your tour from Fort Lauderdale. You will want to keep your eyes open, though, because those gators are only one of the many diverse species that make their homes in the Florida Everglades. 

If you are planning to visit Fort Lauderdale, an airboat ride into the Everglades, should definitely be on your to-do list. You probably won’t see the animals and birds that live in the River of Grass anywhere except on an airboat ride in the Everglades

The manatee is one of the most popular animals that you might encounter on your Everglades tour out of Fort Lauderdale.

The Florida Manatee

Manatees are sometimes referred to as sea cows, which should give you a hint as to their character. If that hint isn’t enough, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spells it out, saying “Manatees are gentle and slow-moving animals. Most of their time is spent eating, resting, and traveling.” 

Get to Know Manatees

  • According to a nonprofit organization called Save the Manatee, “The average adult manatee is about 10 feet long and weighs between 800 and 1,200 pounds.”
  • The nickname of sea cow gives another hint about manatees. Even though they live in the water, like cows, they are mammals. 
  • And, as the folks at Save the Manatee tell us, “Because they are mammals, they must surface to breathe air. They may rest submerged at the bottom or just below the surface of the water, coming up to breathe on an average of every three to five minutes.” 
  • Manatees are herbivores, meaning their diet consists of various aquatic plants and vegetation they might find floating in the water. 

If you want to see if you can spot a manatee at home in the Everglades, an airboat ride out of the Fort Lauderdale area is a great idea. Florida’s dry season – which roughly coincides with the winter months – is one of the best times to see manatees on a Florida Everglades tour.