MANTA RAY
Manta birostris

Habitat: Manta rays typically are found in the open ocean, but will occasionally pass over reefs.

Average adult size: Adults can grow to be more than 20 feet across, from wing-tip to wing-tip.

Natural history: Manta rays swim near the surface of the open sea. Their bad reputation as a "devilfish" is undeserved. Hardly man-eaters, they cruise slowly through the water, feeding on microscopic plankton. The manta uses the fins on either side of its head to herd plankton into its mouth. It will sometimes swim somersaults in the water to take advantage of a particularly rich area of plankton. Mantas are known to jump out of the water or "breach." They will have one or two babies per "litter."

Range: Found in Brazil north to Bermuda.


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