A hidden danger for Florida’s manatees are armored catfish, which can actually kill the gentle giants. The armored catfish doing the attacks are an invasive species that feeds off of Florida’s natural habitat.
People started buying armored catfish from the Amazon basin to eat the algae in their fishtanks at home. Eventually, they get too big for their fish tanks. A full sized armored catfish can be two-feet long. So, when they are that size, people release them into the wild, where they eat the algae off of manatees backs and continue to grow bigger.
The armored catfish also reproduce so much and so fast that the manatees are basically no match for them. Imagine 30,000 or more eggs being laid by a single female in a single summer.
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