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MANTA RAY

Manta birostris

Family: Myliobatidae

Description: very large rays with triangle pectoral fins and a large head. Unique to the manta ray are its head and mouthparts, which give it a horned appearance.

Size: a maximum disc width (DW) of 700 cm has been validated but historical evidence suggests much larger creatures, up to 910 cm DW, have existed.

Weight: can reach over 1300 kg.

Sexual maturity: the size maturity is reached at varies but males have been shown to mature at 400 cm DW with mature females being slightly larger.

Reproduction: little to no information regarding reproductive ecology. 

Average life span: estimates put the minimum lifespan at around 40 years.

Distribution: found throughout the entire world in tropical and temperate waters.

Diet: a very iconic filter feeder whose sustenance is primarily made up of zooplankton.

Status: vulnerable

Human pressure: bycatch is a major issue impacting the global health of the Manta ray. Certain fisheries do target the animal; these fisheries find relatively high success due to the ease of capture.