Begins with writer and scholar John Reynolds's scientific account of the interactions between people and manatees. Describes the history of manatee hunting, and their early distribution and survival. Clarifies the debate about whether manatees are native to Florida. Discusses manatee biology and the features that make the animal especially vulnerable to human activities. Concludes with a gallery of plates featuring photographer Karen Glaser's 52 beautiful duotone prints which capture an intimate, distinctively natural vision of manatees in their own environment. The manatees were photographed in all the diverse conditions that comprise their environment: mud, muck, clear water, rain, sunny or cloudy weather. Unique combination of fact and image that provides a compelling sense of the mysterious presence of these large yet gentle and graceful sea creatures.