manta ray tagged posts

Have Scientists Found A Manta Ray Maternity Ward?

Researchers may have just found the devil’s maternity ward… devil rays, that is. While taking a marine conservation field course in the Gulf of California as an undergraduate at Duke back in April 2014, Leo Chan Gaskins saw gillnets full of dead giant devil rays being hauled out of the ocean.

Based out of a small-scale fishing community in northern Sonora, the now doctoral student in marine science and conservation at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment watched as the fishers were unable to return the animals back to the watery domain due to just how big they were.

A large species, giant devil rays (Mobula mobular) can grow to 17 feet (5.18 m) long and are famous for beauty and graceful swimming that looks like they are flying underwater...

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Manta brainpower blows other fish out of the water

Manta Ray

Every family has an overachiever. For fish, that title goes to manta rays. They’re giant, charismatic and basically geniuses. Mantas have huge brains — the biggest of any fish — with especially developed areas for learning, problem solving and communicating. The giant rays are playful, curious and might even recognize themselves in mirrors, a sign of self-awareness.

“In the water with these guys, you get the sense there’s a lot more going on in there than your average fish,” said ecologist Josh Stewart, associate director of the conservation charity Manta Trust. “Mantas will go out of their way to come interact. They’re much more like a mammal.”

Ahead in school

A manta’s brain can be ten times larger than a whale shark’s...

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