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Manta Ray

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Manta Ray Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
Chordata
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum
Chondrichthyes
Order:
A group of animals within a class
Myliobatiformes
Family:
A group of animals within an order
Mobulidae
Genus:
A group of animals within a family
Manta
Common Name:
Most widely used name for the species
Manta Ray
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species
Manta Birostris
Origin:
The area where the animal first came from
Worldwide
Diet:
What kind of foods the animal eats
Carnivore
Size (L):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
6m - 9m (19.7ft - 29.5ft)
Water Type:
Either freshwater, brakish or salt
Salt
Optimum pH Level:
The perfect acidity conditions for the animal
6 - 9
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for
15 - 20 years
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
Near Threatened
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Grey, Blue, Black, White
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Smooth
Favourite Food:Fish
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives
Warmer tropical waters
Average Clutch Size:
The average number of eggs laif at once
2
Main Prey:Fish, Plankton, Shrimp
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Sharks, Humans, Killer Whales
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to the animal
Plate-like teeth and enormous body

Manta Ray Location

Map of Manta Ray Locations

Manta Ray

The manta ray is a large species of flattened fish, closely related to other cartilaginous fish such as sharks. The manta ray is the largest species of ray in the world with some manta ray individuals reaching up to 9 meters wide.

The manta ray is most commonly found in the warmer, tropical of waters of the world's oceans, typically around coral reefs and along the continental shelves where food is in abundance. However, due to their enormous size, manta rays are also commonly spotted hunting out in the open ocean.

The manta ray is a solitary animal and is also a graceful swimmer. Like other large species of fish, manta rays swim by moving their pectoral fins up and down which propels their enormous body through the surrounding water. The short tail of the manta ray also allows the manta ray to be more acrobatic with it's movement, and they have even be seen leaping out of the water.

Manta rays are known to frequently visit cleaning stations where small fish such as wrasse and angelfish swim in the manta ray's gills and over it's skin to feed, in the process cleaning it of parasites and dead tissue. Manta rays are generally not interested in eating these smaller fish as they are providing a great service to the manta ray.

Unlike many sharks, manta rays do not actually have teeth and instead sieve the food particles out of the water using rows of tiny plates in their mouths, which they funnel in their mouths as they swim. Manta rays eat tiny marine organisms including microscopic plankton, small fish and crustaceans.

Despite it's large size, the relatively docile nature of the manta ray means that it is actually preyed upon by a number of large marine predators. Large species of shark such as the great white shark, killer whales and also humans are known to hunt the manta ray.

After mating the female manta ray lays a couple of eggs which actually develop and then hatch inside her. This process is known as aplacental viviparity and is quite commonly seen in the reproduction of a number of shark and ray species. Within 6 weeks of hatching, the female manta ray gives birth to 1 or 2 manta ray pups, which develop into large adults fairly quickly.

Today, although the manta ray is not considered to be a species that is in imminent danger of extinction in the wild, the manta ray population numbers have been declining more quickly in recent years. Manta rays are particularly susceptible to pollution in the water and are quickly affected by overfishing in certain areas, and therefore a lack of food.

Manta Ray Comments

Nicky
"Manta Rays are the most interesting thing I have ever saw."
manta
"mantas are amazing!"
danny
"it got me most of my imformation"
awesomeness
"the manta ray is amazing"
Caden Watts
"hope manta rays are saved"
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First Published: 5th July 2010, Last Updated: 9th January 2017 [View Sources]

Sources:
1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 05 Jul 2010]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 05 Jul 2010]
4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 05 Jul 2010]
5. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 05 Jul 2010]

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