The Manta Ray

C J Evans By C J Evans, 28th Apr 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Nature>Fish

An article on the bizarre looking manta ray- the harmless giant

Introduction

The manta ray is also known as the giant devil fish. It belongs to the same group as sharks, dogfish and skates. Manta rays live in surface waters where it uses it's large wings to swim through the water- these wings are known as pectoral fins.

The mantra's mouth is at the front of it's body and at either side of the mouth is a large flap which helps guide food in. the mantra's eyes are on either side of it's mouth with it's gills on it's underside/belly. The tail is very long and thin but it does not use it to swim.

Mantra Ray's Habitat

The Mantra ray is found in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans. In these oceans it is located in both offshore and inshore waters, usually floating motionless on the surface or alternatively swimming about at high speeds.

The Feeding Habits

The mantra ray is a filter feeder. It takes in water through it's mouth and with it small organisms- the water is passed back out through it's gill arches. An example of it's food are tiny shrimps. As mentioned earlier, as the mantra is feeding the flaps on the sides of it mouth are used to funnel in food. The mantra does have teeth but they are very small and found in the lower jaw.

Important Key Facts On The Mantra

The mantra ray belongs to the 'Mobulidae' family with 8 species in 2 genera- Manta and Mobula. It's length is approximately 3-5 meters, width 4.5-6.5 meters and weight 1,600kg.

Reproduction

Mantras mate with their undersides pressed or facing together. The male passes it's sperm into the female with a set of organs which are known as 'claspers'. The female keeps the egg in her body and gives birth to a single mantra which itself weighs over 10kg.

Characteristics

The mantra ray is almost completely harmless regardless of it's appearance and size. The mantra has very good eyesight and is apparently attracted to divers/swimmers and often likes to investigate. Mantra rays are known to leap out of the water in large arcs when travelling at high speeds and must be quite a sight to witness.

Tags

Fish, Marine Life, Ocean

Meet the author

author avatar C J Evans
I reside in the South Wales area of the UK. The articles I write are based on my many interests.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
29th Apr 2011 (#)

In the publication notice I sent, I forgot to mention that you should add a picture.
Here is a guide on how to, and why.
http://nut.bz/k2cl97_i/

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