Cuba | Giants of the Mangrove

Manatee, crocodile and manjuari are the most fearsome giant of the mangrove swamp

Planet Doc

In the minimalist world of the mangrove forest there are also giants. 
Up to four metres long, and weighing almost 600 kilos, the manatees are the largest mammals in the mangrove forest. 

Its vegetarian diet explains its nickname, the ‘sea cow’, a name which also reflects its docile character. Because, in spite of their size, the manatees are pacific animals and that, in the mangrove forest, is very unusual. 
The world of the Cuban mangrove also has its demons. 
This is the Cuban crocodile, an armour-clad survivor from prehistoric times, an endemism of Cuban waters, and the most merciless hunter in the mangrove forest. 
Both in and out of the water there are fearsome armour-plated hunters. And not just crocodiles. Because beneath the water, the mangrove swamps of Cuba conceal a fish of which it is said that it has the mouth, the skin and the soul of a crocodile. 
Lurking among the roots, a manjuari, a fish from a line which reached its zenith during the Mesozoic era, waits immobile for unsuspecting prey to come by. 
Its large, toothed mouth, its primitive fins and its armour-plated body make it a formidable predator; so formidable, in fact, that the majuari, or alligator gar as it is also known, is feared even by young crocodiles.

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