Fact Sheets

/Fact Sheets

MCERC Animal Fact Sheet

Each section here is dedicated to an animal that MCERC does research on. Hover over each icon to learn fun facts about each species!

Humpback Whales

Megaptera novaeangliae

Humpback whales are known for their unique and beautiful songs. These songs can be heard from miles away and are often a sequence of moans, howls, and cries.

Humpbacks undergo seasonal migrations, traveling between their feeding and breeding grounds.

Humpback whales exhibit different behaviors, like breaching, spyhopping, and more.

Humpback whale populations severely decreased during the height of the commercial whaling industry, however, most populations have been able to recover!

Killer (Orca) Whales

Orcinus orca

Killer whales can make a wide variety of sounds to communicate with other members of their pod. Each pod can actually have its own distinctive sounds too!

Killer whale pods can either be resident or transient.

Killer whales use echolocation to hunt.

Killer whales are a highly intelligent species, often coordinating different hunting techniques to efficiently catch their prey.

Amazon River Dolphins

Inia geoffrensis

Males are often pink in color and become more attractive to the females the brighter they are!

The Amazon River Dolphin lives exclusively in the Amazon River.

The Amazon River Dolphin uses echolocation to find its food.

The only threat to the Amazon River Dolphin is humans.

Trichechus manatus

Manatees are aquatic herbivores, often enjoying a diet of seagrass and different aquatic plants.

Manatees never leave the water, but they come to the surface to breathe. They can be found in both fresh AND salt water!

Manatees are strong swimmers due to their paddle-shaped tail.

Manatees fart to adjust their buoyancy!


Dugong dugon

The closest living aquatic relative of the dugong is the manatee, however, they are actually more closely related to elephants than other marine mammals!

Dugongs live exclusively in saltwater and are herbivores, like the manatee!

Dugongs are at risk to different anthropogenic impacts, like fishing gear entanglements and boat strike injuries.

Dugongs don't have great eyesight, but they do have excellent hearing. They communicate using barks, chirps, squeaks, trills and other sounds - similar to walruses!


Sharks are part of a group called "elasmobranches"

Sharks do not have bones! Instead, they are made of cartilaginous tissues.

Hundreds of different shark species can be found in oceans across the world.

Sharks have unique electroreceptor organs that aid in capturing prey!

Shark teeth are infinite! They are constantly losing and growing teeth.

Sea Turtles

Sea Turtles are part of an order called "Testudines"

Green sea turtles actually get their name from the green color of their fat!

There are 7 different species of sea turtles worldwide!

The largest species of sea turtles are the leatherbacks, measuring up to 6ft long and weighing between 550 - 2,000 lbs!

Every year, thousands of female Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles congregate along beaches in Mexico to nest together in what is known as “arribadas.”

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