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Manta Ray

Posted in Sea Creatures

Manta rays are giant fish in the eagle ray family.  They are closely related to sharks and other kinds of rays.  

 

They are dark brown, grayish blue, or black on top with pale edges and white underneath.  They have triangular shaped, wing-like fins that allow them to glide through the water in a flight-like motion.  

 

They have wide front-facing mouths, horn-shaped fins on either side of their mouths and eyes on the sides of their head.  They have a long pointy tail like other kinds of rays, but can not sting or harm in any way. 

 

 

 

Did-you-know

some manta rays can grow up to 23 feet wide?  That’s about as long as an average size classroom!

 

 

Where-do-they-live

The Manta Ray lives in either tropic or sub tropic waters all around the world.

 

 

What-do-they-eat

As with most very large marine animals, manta rays eat huge quantities of plankton, krill and other very small organisms. They swim with their mouths open catching as much of the plankton as they can along the way.

 

 

What-are-their-predators

The manta ray is a huge animal so there aren’t many predators big enough to eat one. Larger sharks and orcas, however, can make a quick, easy meal out of a manta ray. 

 

 

What-are-their-defenses

The manta ray has very sharp teeth and a strong tail, but none of these things are enough to ward off predators. Its best defense mechanism is its ability to swim very fast and blend into its environment.

 

 

Danger-scale

 

 

Unless you are a microscopic marine animal, the graceful manta ray poses no threat to you! They are completely harmless to humans. They don’t have venomous barbs on their tails like sting rays and they can’t bite humans in any way.

 

My-favorite-thing

about the manta ray is how it glides through the water, almost as if it were flying!

 

What’s your favorite thing about them?

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