Manta Ray Facts and Information
Facts about Manta Rays, Habitat, Feeding, Anatomy, Evolution, Predators
Introduction to Manta Rays
The Manta Ray is one of the most fascinating and amazing creatures in the water. We don’t know very much about them which is part of the reason why researchers continue to be fascinated by them. It is believed that the Manta Ray evolved millions of years ago into the creature we know it to be today. They are very large creatures, with only the shark and whale being larger than they are.
If you pay close attention to popular culture you will quickly see the Manta Ray being there in various forms. Some of it has to do with early beliefs such as that of the people of Peru. More recently are the various documentaries on these creatures. The anatomy of the Manta Ray is one that fascinates researchers. It is well designed to help them adapt and to survive in their natural environment.
Many people don’t know a great deal about the Manta Ray, and that is likely due to there not being much researchers have uncovered about them. A great deal about their live continues to be quite a mystery. We do know the basics about them though. For example the Manta Ray lives in either tropic or sub tropic waters. It is a filter feeder and consumes large amounts of food every day.
The actual reproduction for these animals seems to be complex. The males are very aggressive and they have to fight hard to find a female. This is due to there being so many more males than females out there. A reason why we don’t see many Manta Rays in captivity is due to their very large size. It is extremely expensive to create an environment that offers them the space they need. A group of four Manta Rays live in a tank that holds more than 6 million gallons of water at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.
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There are some efforts in place to preserve the natural environment for the Manta Ray. They include protecting their natural habitat, reducing the effects of pollution and reduce the damage caused by global warming are key elements that are focused on. However, these animals seem to be very low on the totem pole when it comes to conservation efforts. This is due to the fact we really don’t have a good idea of how many of them exist, their behavior isn´t still fully understood and their habitat is quite extense.
In the past, large numbers of them have been hunted for the sport of it, for meat, oil, and even to allow commercial hunters to have more access to the items that the Manta Ray consumes in their daily diet. Today the hunting of them is limited, especially in the United States. Those that live around the area of Hawaii are the most protected due to the low number. They also bring in a huge number of tourists that come to explore the waters with the Manta Ray in them.
Since we don’t know what the future holds for them, it is even more important to protect them. Hopefully studies can one day soon be conducted that help us to identify just how many of the various species remain out there. Then a plan of action will be easier to get into place.
As more research is done relating to the Manta Ray there will be more information to share with the general public about them. In the meantime, learning all you can about them from what is already known is a great place to start. These amazing creatures need to be protected so that they can continue to help keep the balance of aquatic life that is important to all of us.
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