JU’s White muses about myths, ecological significance of manatees in his Times-Union ‘River Life’ column

JU Marine Science Research Institute Executive Director Quinton White

There’s something that perplexes Quinton White, executive director of Jacksonville University’s Marine Science Research Institute.

Why were manatees ever considered to be mythical mermaids?

“I have never understood how these so-ugly-they-are-cute marine mammals could be confused with the beautiful mermaids of Greek literature,” White writes in the latest edition of his “River Life” column in The Florida Times-Union. “But then, I have never been confined to a ship for years with a bunch of guys who only showered when it rained.”

White says that after 37 yearse of studying and enjoying the St. Johns river, manatees remain among his favorite river inhabitants.

To read more from White’s River Life column on mantees published Friday, Feb. 22, click here.

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