West Indian manatees are typically stagnant animals. They spend about 6-8 hours each day feeding and anywhere from 2-12 hours resting at the surface or suspended near the surface. While they generally surface to breathe once every 30 seconds when active and once every 4 minutes when resting, they can remain submerged for up to 24 minutes.
They have no natural enemies and no mechanism for defense except to retreat from danger. In fact, they can travel up to 15 mph if they need to.
Some of the manatee’s closest living relatives include elephants and hyraxes.