Manta rays are, without a doubt, one of the fascinating creatures of the ocean. Despite their large size, they also have a similar diet with some of the largest fishes on the planet, in that their primary source of food is planktons. Giant oceanic manta rays can be found in all types of waters around the world, and seeing them with your own eyes can be a memorable one.
However, there is still a lot that we don’t know about these majestic creatures, so if you are curious about these gentle giants, you are in for a treat. Below, we will list some amazing and fascinating facts about the giant oceanic manta rays that are traversing through the world’s ocean waters.
Everything You Need to Know About Manta Rays
Before we start listing down some of their amazing facts, let us first catch a glimpse of some important details about manta rays.
- Manta Ray Detailed Information
- Size: Can grow up to 23 feet
- Weight: Can weigh up to 2.4 tons
- Lifespan: Around 20 to 25 years
- Diet: Planktons, crustaceans, and small fishes
- Predator/s: Sharks
- Habitat: Coastal areas, Rocky shores, and tropical waters
- Scientific name: Manta BirostrisOrder: Myliobatiformes
- Family: Mobulidae
The giant oceanic manta ray is the largest type of ray in the world. It is also considered one of the largest fishes in the world, along with whale sharks and basking sharks. They are often found in subtropical and tropical waters and are always seen in offshore waters. What makes them unique creatures of the ocean is how they constantly flap their cephalic lobes, which helps them filter out food from the water.
Manta rays are considered solitary creatures and will always undergo long migrations searching for food and favorable environments such as temperate waters and an extensive food source. One of the reasons manta rays aren’t as explored as other sea creatures is their wide distribution from various waters in the world and how solitary they are. In their lifespan, female manta rays give birth once every two years and
Furthermore, much like with other marine creatures, they are susceptible to various threats such as overexploitation, overfishing, or being caught as bycatch. Fortunately, various organizations worldwide have paved the way for these gentle giants to be protected and conserved.
And now, we go to the most interesting part. Below, we’ve piled up some of the most interesting facts about them. To learn more, read further down below.
8 Fascinating and Interesting Facts About the Giant Oceanic Manta Rays
Here are some interesting facts about Manta rays that may surprise you.
They have a large set of teeth, but they don’t bite
Manta rays have a large number of teeth at their lower jay. However, as mentioned, their primary source of food is planktons. They don’t use their set of teeth to munch or grind their food. Some researchers and experts believe that manta ray’s ancestors used to chomp down or chew their food. However, it started to change when they switched up their diet and started to eat planktons instead.
They are as wide as they can be
Once they reach adulthood, an adult manta ray can stretch for up to 29 feet from the left to the right. They are also called filter-feeders as they primarily feed on zooplankton and other small types of fish.
Off to station, we go
Giant oceanic manta rays do not care about their hygiene. Instead, they occasionally visit coral reefs to help them get rid of some parasites latching onto them. One particular type of fish that cares for its hygiene is the suckerfish, which primarily feeds on parasites attached to the ray.
They go where the food goes
Giant oceanic manta rays are one of the best at traveling ocean waters across the globe. They constantly travel, looking for nutrient-rich waters in which zooplanktons are abundant. From shallow waters to reef shores, you can easily find them as long as there is an abundance of planktons.
They like open waters
Unlike their stingray counterparts, who love digging sands at the bottom of the ocean, manta rays prefer the open water and are often seen flapping their pectoral fins like a bird in the sky. They love the temperature and warm waters. That’s why you can often see them gliding through subtropical and tropical waters around the world.
They are harmless
Although they are considered one of the world's largest creatures and contain rows of teeth up to 300 in number, they are not dangerous. Instead, they are quite the opposite of their large counterparts, such as the great whites. Giant oceanic manta rays are harmless and are relatively gentle and peaceful creatures of the ocean.
They are quite solitary creatures. Giant oceanic manta rays are only social during mating season. After that season, they wander throughout the world’s waters in search of food. Furthermore, if the water area has plenty of food sources, they usually congregate and could reach up to 50 manta rays.
Of the number of cold-blooded creatures on the planet, the Manta Rays have the largest brain-to-body size ratio. In addition, various studies have shown that manta rays can recognize themselves looking at the mirror, a testament to the high cognitive function expressed by some of the world’s most intelligent creatures such as primates, elephants, and dolphins.
The Giant Oceanic Manta Rays are quite the species indeed. They are known as graceful creatures wandering through the open waters around the world, like how an eagle would fly in the open air. Although they are relatively massive in their ways, they are not dangerous to humans and are quite the opposite.
These sea creatures are not safe against threats made by humans, but there have been plenty of organizations protecting and conserving sea life over the years. If you want to take a closer look at them, they have a large concentration along the coast of Mexico and the West coast of Australia.
Join us here at ATOLEA on our mission in raising awareness for preserving the Ocean to keep marine life's existence including the Giant Oceanic Manta Rays for the coming more years. Every profit we made from your purchase on our Ocean-inspired jewelry collection, part of it goes to Ocean conservation charities.
So dive into our beautiful Sea-inspired jewelry designs now and proudly wear your ocean accessories with meaning and pride!