Science Art: Manatees Swimming by Henry W. Elliott

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From the NOAA Photo Library, Historic Fisheries Collection, in the somewhat questionably titled ” Natural History of Useful Aquatic Animals” section.

Are manatees useful? I mean, I’m glad they exist. And I’m sure they do things and have manatee agendas with manatee priorities and manatee action items. But I’m not sure they’re all that useful. What would one use them for? And why?