The sleepless nights are beginning to show amongst the ARKive team as they decide which species is ahead of the pack. Our last revelation was by Rebecca Taylor with her love for the sensational sea otter, but will this week’s team member favour cuddliness or mind-blowing biological ability?
Rebecca Moran – ARKive Species Text Author
Favourite species? Manta ray
Why? I think I’m mainly fascinated by the manta ray because of its sheer size! It can measure a whopping 6.7 metres across, which would be roughly equivalent to four of me (or any lady of average height!) laid end to end! In spite of its size, the manta ray is extremely graceful, using its large wings to seemingly fly through the water while feeding on tiny planktonic organisms. I’d definitely love to don some flippers and have a snorkel with a manta ray some day.
Favourite image on ARKive:
The manta ray (Manta birostris) is listed as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List, and is currently threatened by fishing, both intentionally and as accidental bycatch. This species is now protected in many areas, with total fishing bans imposed by some countries.