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Manta Ray, a giant of the ocean

Swimming next to a manta ray is an experience that not many divers have had. This sea animal is one of the giants of the ocean. the manta rays are family of the sharks and can measure eight meters and weigh 1400 kilograms.

Giant manta ray swimming
Giant manta ray swimming

In this 3 minutes video from New Atlantis WILD channel, you will learn a little bit more about this beautiful animal. In Costa Rica, if you are lucky, it is possible to see them at Caño Island, specially in “Bajo del diablo” diving place.

The manta ray is still a mistery. We know very little about them. The fact that they can’t live in an aquarium makes their study really difficult.

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What do manta ray eat?

A very interesting incongruity that occurs in the ocean is that some of the largest species of animals, such as manta rays, whale sharks, and many whales, feed on plankton, the tiniest being in the seas.

Scuba diver swimming with a huge manta ray
Scuba diver swimming with a huge manta ray

Remoras are fish that adhere to other fish, and feed on the remains of the food of larger fish.

How big can manta rays be?

We realize just by looking at them that manta rays are huge animals.

They can measure up to 8 meters in length, and generally weigh around 1,360 kilos.

Why do we know so little about manta ray?

One of the reasons we know so little about manta ray is because of their inability to live in captivity.

Aquariums have no way of offering pools large enough to adequately hold these huge aquatic animals.

Whenever they are held in captivity, they stop eating and generally die after a few days.

amazing old picture of a huge manta ray
amazing old picture of a huge manta ray

Are manta rays in danger of extinction?

We cannot be sure whether or not they are in danger of extinction because we do not know their population.

We do know that they are listed as a threatened species, and one of the reasons is due to harpoon fishing.

Scuba diver with a manta ray

Do manta rays have a skeleton?

Precisely the fact that they do not have a bone skeleton, like the rest of the vertebrates, is what allows them to make those magnificent acrobatic movements

Who are the predators of the manta rays?

The predators of the manta rays are the killer whales, and although it seems hard to believe, so are the sharks.

Sharks are the closest relatives of manta rays in the marine world.

The killer whale is the number 1 predator of manta rays.
The killer whale -the number 1 predator of manta rays.

The jump of the stingrays

Manta rays used to perform remarkable acrobatic jumps in the water.

Not even the scientists assure us the real reason why they do this.

Some suspect that this is done to attract females.

Others think it is a form of communication with their peers, or perhaps to escape predators.

Huge manta ray jumping out of the water
Huge manta rays jumping out of the water

Differences between the manta ray and skate

Manta ray

  • Differentiated body fins
  • Mouth located in the front
  • They measure up to 8 meters
  • Manta ray are planktivorous
  • They swim near the surface
  • This animal do not have a poisonous stinger

The stripes

  • They have a rhombus-shaped body
  • Mouth located at the bottom
  • They measure up to 2 meters
  • Stripes feeds on crustaceans
  • They swim glued to the seabed
  • Stripes have a poisonous stinger

Are manta ray poisonous?

Contrary to popular belief, manta rays are not poisonous.

Manta rays are often mistaken for stingrays, which are smaller in size, and have tips that contain a certain type of venom.

If you want to know more about the marine life, specifically on Caño Island, you can review this article:

5 sea animals at Caño Island hat you would love to see

If you would like more information about the Caño Island Diving Tour or any other Costa Rica Dive and Surf tour, please send us a message here or write to us on Whatsapp, using the green icon.