Today is World Manta Day which seeks to raise awareness about the graceful and fascinating Manta Ray.
The Manta Ray, of which there are 2 species, are closely related to Sharks and other Rays and like them their skeletons are made of cartilage instead of bone and have fossil records dating back to around 28 million years ago.
They can grow up to 23 ft or 7m and weigh up to nearly 3000lb or 1350kg.
They are filter feeders feeding on zooplankton and are found in temperate, subtropical and tropical waters throughout the planet.
Manta Ray populations are considered vulnerable due to pollution and overfishing and are few in areas that fish specifically for them. They are also affected by lost or abandoned nets. Although they have long lifespans they have slow reproductive rates.
For more information on these elegant and noble looking creatures please see the links below:
By Brendon Crook