Manta Ray Facts:
Manta Ray – What are they?
The manta ray is a large ray in the family Mobulidae and is the largest species of the rays. The largest known specimen was more than 7.6 metres (25 ft) across, with a weight of about 2,300 kilograms (5,100 lb).
Manta rays are broader across than they are long, and they have distinctive fins near their faces which resemble horns, which also gives them the name ‘devil rays’. These fins are an ingenious tool which the mantas use to sweep in prey.
Manta rays are filter feeders, living on plankton. They are very good swimmers, using huge fins, similar to wings to elegantly glide through the water and steer themselves with their whip-like tails. Some species can even jump totally out of the water.
The manta ray is ovoviviparous, which means that the females incubate their eggs in their bodies. Typically only one manta ray baby hatches at a time, and newborn manta rays are already around four feet wide.
Although it might be tempting to imagine grabbing on and hitching a ride with these fast swimmers, people should avoid handling manta rays, as they can hurt them or damage the mucus membranes which protect the body from infection.
Manta rays are located throughout tropical waters of the world, typically around coral reefs which means that many visitors to these regions come into contact with manta rays. The famous Thailand dive sites of Hin Daeng and Hin Muang are considered to be among the top 10 dives sites in the world for spotting manta rays which is why we run 3 trips a week to this amazing site on our luxury cruiser ‘Ja Ru Pat‘.
How to differentiate between the sexes of a Manta Ray: