Facts about Manta Rays

 

  • The fact that they have outward wings has given them the reputation of being evil in some locations, combined with their dark colors.
  • They have 18 rows of teeth, all of the bottom part of the jaw.
  • They can weigh as much as 2,900 pounds and be up to 23 inches wide.
  • The tail of the manta ray doesn’t contain a spine.
  • Their estimated life span in the wild is 20 years.
  • The overall coloring and patterns of a manta ray is very unique. It is often used to help researchers identify them when they are doing observations and research.
  • The manta ray is often mistaken for the eagle ray. One way to tell them apart is that the manta ray will always have the mouth in front while the eagle ray species will also have them below.
  • The body is very flat and there is no bone, instead it is cartilage. They have a flat body so that they can easily hide from predators along the sediment at the bottom of the water.
  • The manta ray lives in oceans, Facts About Manta Raystropical waters, and subtropical regions. Those that live in the oceans will live in deeper water though to stay warm. They do come to the coast areas for the coral reefs and to find cleaning stations from time to time.
  • They are migrational and will travel long distances if they need to in order to find food.
  • They have been seen leaping out of the water from time to time. It is believed this helps them to remove parasites from their bodies.
  • They don’t do well in captivity at all. The longest period of time for one to survive in such conditions was for 36 hours in Japan.
  • Cleaning stations are very important to the manta ray. This involves them getting dead skin and parasites on their bodies consumed by various types of small fish. As the manta ray swim slowly, the fish remove those elements from their bodies.
  • It isn’t known if the manta ray sleeps or not. While there has been research conducted, it can’t verify with any certainty if does or if it doesn’t.
  • The manta ray swims all the time from birth until death. However, there can be significant changes in the speed of the swimming based on what activity they happen to be taking part in.
  • They have been confirmed to dive at least 100 feet into the water. However, many experts believe that they can dive much further than that.
  • The myths about manta rays rescuing divers in the water are false. There has never been any documented instance of this really happening.
  • They have been seen swimming with dolphins and sharks.
  • Mating can occur any time of the year for the manta ray. As long as their basic needs are met including food and acceptable water temperature, they will take part in mating activities.
  • New born pups are about 20 pounds at birth.
  • The mother will give birth close to the shore, and then leave the pup to care for itself. They are very vulnerable to predators.
  • Since the manta ray has to move constantly, being trapped in fishing nets is a serious problem. Limiting some locations where they have high numbers from these nets has been a big part of conservation efforts. The introduction of safer nets has also been an option in some areas.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YJ65XI4cBY

  • The manta ray has been listed as vulnerable since November of 2011.
  • The manta ray is closely related to the sting ray, but it isn’t harmful to humans.
  • The body is covered with protective mucus, so when it is touched often by people it can become vulnerable to parasites and various diseases.
  • That layer of mucus can be broken if they are touched by humans.
  • They are closely related to various species of sharks.
  • They are the largest of all categories of rays.
  • The biggest source of food for the manta ray is plankton. They also consume small shrimp and small fish.
  • The outer layer of their body feels like sand paper.
  • The full moon may trigger the desire to mate.
  • The males may chase the females for at least 30 minutes before she will stop and engage with them for mating.
  • They have very large brains compared with overall body size. They are considered to be very intelligent and able to adapt to a variety of changes in their environment.
  • They are currently classified as being vulnerable at this time for overall survival. Human efforts including pollution and fishing nets are a risk to them.
  • In Japan, the meat from the manta ray is considered to be a delicacy. They are widely hunted in that area for meat, for their oil, and for their skin.