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Manta Ray (2010NT)

Page history last edited by Nathan 14 years, 1 month ago


Manta Ray



     The Manta Ray, (also called a Devil Ray) is the largest ray in the world, and yet, it is the ray we know the least about. It is a creature that swims through the water with unbelievable grace and beauty. They have very interesting anatomies, feeding habits, and unique facts about their size.

     The Manta Ray is a vertebrate. It has no skeleton, and yet, it is made from bone. They have smooth skin that is protected by a layer of a mucus membrane. Manta Rays have no noses, have short whip-like tails but no stingers, and actually have teeth but do not use them. The ray has two main colors: black and brown. They have an average life span of 20 years and have a brain that is larger than most creatures in the water. Behind the eyes are large opening called spirals. The spirals have become non-functional as the Manta Ray started to evolve, but they are still there.

     The Manta ray is a filter feeder. It feeds by straining suspended food particles in the water. They usually eat at night, and almost always eat around coral reefs. They eat small fishes, shrimp, plankton, and they will eat angelfish if it is native to the ray’s area. When feeding, the Manta Ray swims in a straight line with its pectoral fins flat. With this method of feeding, the ray can eat up to sixty pounds of food in just one day. The only known predators of the Manta rays are Orcas and sharks.


     Most Manta Rays are large, though some are small. The rays can weigh up to five thousand pounds. In fact, they are so big, that only four are kept in captivity. The largest Manta Ray ever recorded weighed 5,100 pounds! The only place that they are found naturally in the USA, is in Hawaii because of the warm waters located in that area. Not only is the ray native to Australia, but also it is the second largest marine species on the Great Barrier Reef! The largest species of the Manta Ray can be more than twenty-three feet long from tip to tip. In most Manta Ray species, the males are larger than the females. The smallest species of Manta Rays is only two feet across.

     The Manta birostris, or Manta Ray, is the largest species of rays on earth. It has a very interesting anatomy, feeding habit, and interesting facts about the size of them. They are beautiful, rare creatures. So if see one swimming by next time your out on the oceans, count yourself lucky!






"manta ray." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica  Online School Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica, 2010. Web. 8 Mar. 2010  <http://school.eb.com/eb/article-9030156>.







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