(WHTM) — The last Wednesday of March is National Manatee Day. These amazing creatures are not only adorable, but also very important to signaling the status of our environment.

Here are some fun facts that can help you celebrate these sea cows, according to the U.S. Department of the Interior.

(Photo by GUILLAUME SOUVANT/AFP via Getty Images)

Manatees are thought to have inspired mermaid legends.

Christopher Columbus supposedly caught a glimpse of three mermaids, writing that “They are not so beautiful as they are said to be, for their faces had some masculine traits.”

Manatees never leave the water.

The only time a manatee will put its body partially out of the water is to get air. They usually get air every five minutes. If a manatee is resting, it can hold its breath for up to 20 minutes and if it is very active, it may surface as often as every 30 seconds.

Manatees are more closely related to elephants than any other marine creature.

All of the species of manatees are members of the sirenius family. This family shares a common ancestor with the elephant, aardvark, and small gopher-like hyrax.

Manatees eat more than a 10th of their weight in food every day.

These herbivores consume more than 60 species of underwater, shoreline, and floating plants. Manatees primarily just eat the grass off the sea floor. This is part of the reason Manatees are good at showing the state of the environment around them. If they are thriving, so is the environment.

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Manatees move at five miles an hour.

These slow creatures can have random bursts of energy where they’ll speed up to 15 miles per hour. However, for the most part they mill around five miles an hour. This slow speed can cause the growth of algae and barnacles to form on the manatee.

Manatees can’t turn their heads like humans.

Manatees don’t possess neck vertebra like other mammals do, meaning that they have to turn their entire bodies if they want to look around.