Trichechus senegalensis is a poorly studied species, and much of the information about their behavior and reproduction has been inferred based on their close similarity to the very well studied Trichechus manatus. They are capable of reproducing throughout the year; however, a peak in calving tends to occur in late spring or early summer (CMC 1997). Females are sexually mature as early as three years of age. A female in estrus is joined by a dozen or more males. Together they form a mating group in which copulation appears to occur at random (Save the Manatee Club 1997). Gestation lasts about 13 months and usually a single calf is born at a time, but twins do occur occasionally. Calves are born tail first, and they can swim on their own (CMC 1997). They feed from a pair of pectoral mammary glands. Trichechus senegalensis are believed to live to about 30 years of age, and females can bear young every three to five years (Sikes 1974 and CMC 1997).
Key Reproductive Features: Gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); Sexual