USF Researcher Part of Study Showing Manatees Can Probably Hear Boats

TAMPA, Fla. (June 16, 2009) -- The 3,800 manatees estimated to live in Florida waters all face one big threat to their survival – boats. But USF researcher David Mann’s recent work on manatee sound localization sheds new light on the sea creature’s ability to tell a boat is approaching.


Mann is part of a team whose work is featured in this month’s edition of the Journal of Experimental Biology showing that manatees can probably hear an approaching boat. Mann worked with two young male manatees at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium who had been trained to participate in sensory studies. A report from the Journal on this ground-breaking research can be found here


The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community-engaged, four-year public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF was awarded more than $360 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2007/2008. The university offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The university has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 46,000 students on institutions/campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.