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Water Mammals and Their Major Types

manatees-swimming-water-mammal image
Manatees are water mammals.

Unlike fish, water mammals can’t get oxygen from the water. They have to come up to the surface to breathe. But unlike most mammals, water mammals can stay under the water for a long time. Most water mammals, including seals, walruses and whales, have blubber—or fat—to keep them warm. Sea lions have thick fur instead. Dolphins tend to live in warm water so they don’t need either.

Mother and Baby Manatees Swimming Together Image - Science for Kids All About Sea Mammals
All About water Mammals: Manatees are water mammals.

Most water mammals are carnivores. They eat fish, shellfish and other aquatic animals. Some water mammals, such as walruses and some seals, are fierce. They are best left alone. Dolphins are smart and friendly. They often approach people swimming in coastal areas.

Dolphins, Sea Mammal, Jumping in the Water Image
Dolphins are smart and friendly water mammals.

Fun Facts about Water Mammals for Kids

  • All water mammals are excellent swimmers. They have fins or flippers to help them.
  • Most water mammals have been hunted in the past for their fat or oil. Some were hunted almost to extinction.
  • Water mammal babies can swim very quickly.
  • Some water mammals have excellent underwater vision.
White Water Mammal Seal on Ice Image - All About Water Mammals Facts for Kids
Seals are also water mammals.

Water Mammal Vocabulary

  1. Oxygen: an element animals need to survive
  2. Surface: the top
  3. Blubber: fat
  4. Carnivore: eats other animals
  5. Coastal: near land


Learn More All About Water Mammals

Check out this awesome video and listen to the sounds of the sea by the water mammals:

A video documentary about sea mammals and the sounds of the sea.

Water Mammal Q&A

Question: Do all water mammals live in the ocean?

Answer: No, some water mammals live in rivers.


Question: How many babies do water mammals have?

Answer: Most just have one at a time.


Enjoyed the Easy Science for Kids Website all about Water Mammals info? Take the FREE & fun Water Mammals quiz and download FREE Water Mammals worksheet for kids. For lengthy info click here.