Dwarf River Manatee Discovered: No One Tells Zooillogix!

We are not sure what the bigger story here is: the discovery of a new species of tiny adorable river manatee or the fact that this happened in July and we just learned about it last week! Anyway, these critters were discovered by a pioneering Amazonian biologist by the name of Marc van Roosmalen and covered by Darren Naish of Tetrapod Zoology a few months back. Tetrapod is kind of the better researched, actually informative, articulate and all around nerdier version of Zooillogix.

As the story goes, Marc came across the skull of a dwarf manatee and, suspecting it was a new species, searched for it for two years before finding a living specimen. Upon locating a couple, he fenced in a portion of the river and studied them in their natural habitat for four months. Like its saltwater brethren, the dwarf river manatee lives mostly off aquatic plants but hopes someday to land a lucrative career as a pet in Japan. Much more info can be found on Marc's site.

i-f676a04c7627ea4208880670cc23625b-dwarf manatee1.jpg
Ungainly out of the water, the dwarf river manatee is pretty much ungainly in the water as well

i-1c25d06a0fd40416769274c5c588f939-dwarf river manatee2.JPG
StarKist: Pig of the Sea ?

More like this

More on Marc van Roosmalen's new Amazonian mammals: in the previous post I introduced the new dwarf tapir, as well as the whole topic of Marc's discoveries and the coverage that they get on his new website. Part I is required reading. Here in part II we look at yet more of these animals: this time…
Arguably the most exciting concept in the entire field of zoology is the thought that new large terrestrial tetrapod species await discovery. And despite statements from journalists and scientists, history demonstrates that the continued discovery of such animals is not an extraordinary or…
Yet more on Marc van Roosmalen's new Amazonian mammals, first disclosed on his excellent website. Before proceeding, you will need to have read part I, part II and part III first. Here in part IV we get to the most important stuff and wrap things up. But before that, there are yet more new animals…
If you've read the series of posts on Marc van Roosmalen's new Amazonian mammals, you should, by now, be fairly open-minded to the possibility that large terrestrial mammals await discovery and description. And if you follow rumours about new mammal species, you'll have heard of the alleged new…

I can't believe I've not heard of this either! I've been reading Tetzoo too... WEIRD.

LOL - I really hope for this species sake that they don't catch on in Japan. You could just see it though, couldn't you?

By arachnophile (not verified) on 15 Nov 2007 #permalink

I give the Chinese about two weeks to discover the incredible, magical, aphrodisiac powers from dried, ground pygmy manatee testicles. These things are f-ed.

forget Japan, I'm hoping that mini-manatees catch on in the US! But I really wouldn't want to deplete their species even more than it already is, they're too adorable to be extinct.

Ugh, I hope it doesn't catch on it the US, for it's own sake. We have enough problems with morons backyard-breeding dogs and keeping them in awful conditions, I'd hate to see what kind of horrible conditions could be cooked up by somebody with a lot of warped creativity and no understanding of habitat. There'd be five of these cuties in somebody's backyard kiddie pool in no time.

Yeah there is a dvd out about this guy and his search for the pygmy manatee. It is real interesting. It is called the Species Hunter

I met Marc two years ago on a school trip to the Amazon rain forest and we traveled down the Aripuana tributary where he found the dwarf manatee. Unfortunately we didn't see one, but we did see its teethmarks left behind on the aquatic grass it feeds from =)

By Hannah Pedersen (not verified) on 07 Sep 2010 #permalink