Manatee Scars Come From A Fight They Can't Win Spot a manatee, the friendly, charming and prehistoric marine animal common in Florida's waters, and you're likely to think they're constantly besieged by sharks or other toothy killers. Many bear heavy scars and other marks of attack. But, as essayist Diane Roberts writes, manatees have no natural predators. What's attacking them? Boat propellers.
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Manatee Scars Come From A Fight They Can't Win

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Manatee Scars Come From A Fight They Can't Win

Manatee Scars Come From A Fight They Can't Win

Manatee Scars Come From A Fight They Can't Win

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Spot a manatee, the friendly, charming and prehistoric marine animal common in Florida's waters, and you're likely to think they're constantly besieged by sharks or other toothy killers. Many bear heavy scars and other marks of attack. But, as essayist Diane Roberts writes, manatees have no natural predators. What's attacking them? Boat propellers.

JOHN YDSTIE, Host:

Manatees have lived in the waterways along Florida's coast for millions of years. Essayist Diane Roberts recently spent a hot day on a boat reflecting on the clash between the charismatic endangered species and water-faring humans.

DIANE ROBERTS: Suddenly, they swim up toward the surface, looking at us with their ancient eyes. Maybe they're wondering why we don't join them down there. There's plenty of eelgrass for everybody.

YDSTIE: Diane Roberts teaches creative writing at Florida State University in Tallahassee. This is NPR News.

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