I captured this incredible video clip while swimming with manatees in Three Sisters Spring in Crystal River, Florida.
Manatees are well known for their habit of nibbling on anchor lines and ropes that hang in the water. Some people refer to it as “manatee dental floss”. This particular manatee was chewing on the anchor rope for a kayak.
For the first time, I got a close up look at the amazing way that manatees use their lips to direct food into their mouths. They have a unique set of muscles allowing them to use each side of their lips independently like fingers.
To learn more about manatee lips, check out Cristina’s post: Four Manatee Facts.
Brindley is an American conservation biologist, wildlife photographer, filmmaker, writer, and illustrator living in Asheville, NC. He studied black-footed cats in Namibia for his master’s research, has traveled to all seven continents, and loves native plant gardening. See more of his work at Travel for Wildlife, Truly Wild, Our Wild Yard, & Naturalist Studio.