Temporal range: Lower Miocene to Recent
|Manta ray at Hin Daeng, Thailand|
The manta ray (Manta birostris) 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 1,300 kilograms (2,900 lb). It ranges throughout tropical waters of the world, typically around coral reefs. They have the largest brain-to-body ratio of the sharks, rays and skates (Elasmobranchii), a brain which is kept warm during lengthy dives to as deep as 500 metres (1,600 ft) in cold water.
Mantas may be at least two different species, the giant manta (Manta birostris), which migrates, and another smaller one called the reef manta (Manta alfredi), which does not. The genus may need revising.
Manta rays are probably at the top of the food chain. Some shark species, such as the tiger shark may hunt them.
References[change | change source]
- "Manta Rays". The Hawaii Association for Marine Education and Research, Inc.. 2005. http://www.hamerinhawaii.org/Main%20Web%20Pages/Education/Marine%20Life/Rays/manta_rays.htm. Retrieved 2007-12-09.
- "Manta rays: A new species?". Save Our Seas Foundation. http://www.saveourseas.com/manta-rays-a-new-species.
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/ species/Manta_ray#p0052vwz
- "Manta Ray Research". Foundation for the Protection of Marine Megafauna. http://marinemegafauna.org/mantarays/. Retrieved 2010-05-12.