Now I Know: The Importance of Manatee Farts

Unrelated to the below, today is the anniversary of one of the worst marketing stunts in history. -- Dan
 

The Importance of Manatee Farts

Fish, sharks, whales, dolphins -- they're all really good swimmers. And that makes a lot of sense because they live in water, and if you live in water, you need to be able to swim well to do, well, just about everything. Your food, your friends, and whatever you do for fun are all underwater, so you best be able to get around.

The good news for most of those creatures is that, to varying degrees, they're built for underwater living. Fish and sharks have gills and can breathe underwater; whales and dolphins, being mammals, need to come to the surface, but they have respiratory systems that allow them to maximize their time underwater. But put breathing aside for a moment, because there's more to being an undersea creature than that. You also need to be able to regulate your depth. If you're too buoyant, you'll float to the surface; if you're not buoyant enough, you'll sink toward the sea floor. And if your friends or your meals are somewhere in between, that's a problem.

But, again, most swimming creatures are built for this. Most fish -- particularly those with denser, bony skeletons -- have an internal organ called a "swim bladder," which is basically just a big sack of gas that allows them to stay at whatever depth is appropriate without having to spend energy swimming. Fish with cartilage-based skeletons (sharks, for example) and mammals like dolphins and whales don't have swim bladders, but that's okay; they can regulate their depth simply by swimming; their pectoral (side) fins work similar to the wings of birds and airplanes, creating lift. And because those creatures are always in motion, hunting down their next meal (or in the case of dolphins, doing fun dolphin things), not having a swim bladder is not really a big deal.

Unless you're a manatee, sometimes called a "sea cow," as seen above. Manatees are special -- unlike fish and sharks, they're mammals, and unlike whales and dolphins, they're vegetarian. And that's a bad combination. Vegetation doesn't move much, so you have to stay where you are to eat, which removes airplane-like lift from your repertoire of buoyancy strategies. Being a mammal, you don't have a swim bladder, so that's out. You need to be able to drop to deeper depths upon command. The easiest way to do that is to let some air out of your body, so that's what you do.

As the Columbus Zoo explains in this video, when manatees want to dive for a meal, they fart.

It's a rather efficient (albeit hardly elegant) solution. Manatees can weigh nearly 600 kilograms (1,300 lb) and they eat about 10% of their body weight in vegetation each day; consuming that much plant material, as anyone who has ever eaten a lot of salad can attest, is going to lead to a good amount of gaseous bloat. The more manatees eat, the more gas they store up, and the more gas they store up, the more they float to the surface. When it's time to eat again, they just let a big one rip and wait a bit; before they know it, the hungry manatee is now descending back toward where its next meal is growing.

Of course, any flatulence-based motion system has a built-in problem: what do you do when you're too backed up to fart?  A 2000 study on manatee biology noted that "constipated manatees are often unable to dive" and therefore are imperiled. Thankfully, that's an issue humans can help with. First, it's pretty easy to see if a manatee is constipated as their tails tend to float higher than the rest of their bodies. And second, manatee constipation is an easy thing to fix: you just give them a laxative. Per the study, "after treatment with a laxative, the animals expelled substantial volumes of gas, regained their buoyancy control, and then exhibited normal locomotory movements."

So next time you see a manatee toot, don't be offended. For them, farting isn't just sophomoric triviality -- it is literally a life or death decision.
 
The News You Need2Know Delivered to Your Inbox Daily!
With a focus on national headlines, business, tech, and politics mixed in with entertainment and a bit of humor, the Need2Know newsletter from Cheddar News packs in all the top news you need to know before you start your day. Delivered to your inbox each morning, it’s a must-read to stay current. 

Sign up for the Need2Know Newsletter >>
Sponsored

Bonus fact: According to the book "Does It Fart?" (yes, that's a real book), most animals fart, including ferrets. But unlike the other animals that fart, ferrets don't seem to know that they're farting until they've already passed gas. Per the book, via Mental Floss, "[ferret] owners often report a confused look on their pet’s face in the direction of their backside after they audibly pass gas."

From the Archives: Veg-Jaws-Tarian: The one and only vegetarian shark.
Like today's Now I Know? Share it with a friend -- just forward this email along.
And if someone forwarded this to you, consider signing up! Just click here.
Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward
Archives · Privacy Policy

Copyright © 2022 Now I Know LLC, All rights reserved.
You opted in, at http://NowIKnow.com via a contest, giveaway, or the like -- or you wouldn't get this email.

Now I Know is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Some images above via Wikipedia.

Now I Know's mailing address is:
Now I Know LLC
P.O. Box 536
Mt. Kisco, NY 10549-9998

Add us to your address book


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your email address or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp

Key phrases

Older messages

Now I Know: Flying the Hungry Skies

Thursday, September 15, 2022

How to get pizza in the middle of Nomewhere View this email in your browser · Missed one? Visit the Archives Reindeer... not for me. -- Dan Flying the Hungry Skies Nome, Alaska, is located on the coast

[Now I Know Offers] Let Hunt a Killer Bring a Mystery into Your Home

Thursday, September 15, 2022

do you want to play a game? Hi! This is a paid email from my friends at Hunt a Killer. They're great and you should absolutely try their service. But if you really don't like emails like this,

Now I Know: The Last Straw

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

100 years ago today, there was a rather violent fight over... hats? Yeah, hats. View this email in your browser · Missed one? Visit the Archives This is a re-run, shared today because it's the

Now I Know: The Real Movie That Created Fake Students

Monday, September 12, 2022

On the plus side, maybe it created a weird new revenue stream? View this email in your browser · Missed one? Visit the Archives Hope you had a great weekend! Unrelated to the below, today is the 60th

Now I Know: Wikipedia's Secret Sauce

Friday, September 9, 2022

It's the Now I Know Weekender! View this email in your browser · Missed an issue? Click here! If you're new to Now I Know, you'll notice that today's format is different than the rest

Now I Know: The Other Projects On My Mind

Friday, October 7, 2022

It's the Now I Know Weekender! View this email in your browser · Missed an issue? Click here! If you're new to Now I Know, you'll notice that today's format is different than the rest

Influence Weekly #253 - How Shiseido unlocked new influencer marketing success

Friday, October 7, 2022

Jack in the Box seeks full-time Twitch streamer Influence Weekly #253 October 7th, 2022 Executive Summary How Shiseido unlocked new influencer marketing success Triller battles gauntlet of lawsuits as

🎤 S.W.I.P.E.S. Email (Friday October 7th, 2022)

Friday, October 7, 2022

The SWIPES Email Swipe📁 • Wisdom🧠 • Interesting🧐 • Picture🖼 • Essay📄 • Sketch✎ ​A fun email for Friday. I hope you enjoy! Edition: Friday, October 7th, 2022​ ​ 🎤 Listen to this email here: ​ ​ Swipe: I

Time Suckers

Friday, October 7, 2022

Freedom is the biggest motivation for content entrepreneurs, but that doesn't mean you can do whatever you want, whenever you want. ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

🧙‍♂️ Stop asking your creator friends how much they charge

Friday, October 7, 2022

do THIS instead ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Daily Boost: October 7, 2022

Friday, October 7, 2022

​ ​ ​ Something to ponder: The good thing about success is that you can define it on your own terms. Not every website has to be a million-dollar asset. Set a monthly traffic or income goal that will

Abracadabra

Friday, October 7, 2022

What pulls us to magic? Is it something deep and inexplicable, or can we understand it as wonder? Snipette Snipette Abracadabra By Chelsea Iversen – 07 Oct 2022 – View online → What pulls us to magic?

❓ You were supposed to read this…

Thursday, October 6, 2022

​view in browser​ You were supposed to read this… It's not getting easier out there, especially in the world of business. How will you react? ​ We know how the members of our Cashflow community

Progress Report 12: Workshops

Thursday, October 6, 2022

A bit of a rant about online educational events ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

3-2-1: Simple mindset shifts, aligning thoughts and actions, and being contrarian

Thursday, October 6, 2022

3 ideas, 2 quotes, and 1 question to consider this week. ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌