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closely related to sharks but with long, flat bodies and wing-like pectoral fins, mobula rays are ideally suited to swooping through the water - here off the gulf of california - yet seem equally at home in the air, so much so that they have earned the name “flying rays”. mobula rays can reach heights of more than two metres, remaining airborne for several seconds. 

mobula rays are quite elusive and difficult to study, so biologists are not quite sure why they jump out of the water. theories vary from a means of communication, to a mating ritual (though both males and females jump), or as a way to shed themselves of parasites. they could also be jumping as a way of better corralling their pray, as seen with them swimming in a circular formation. 

what is known about mobula rays is that they reach sexual maturity late and their investment in their offspring is more akin to mammals than other fishes, usually producing just a single pup after long pregnancies, all of which makes them extremely vulnerable to commercial fishing, especially as a species that likes to come together in large groups.

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Giant squids might be even bigger than we realized

According to research from Charles Paxton, fisheries ecologist and statistician at Scotland’s University of St. Andrews, published in the Journal of Zoology this month, the giant squid could grow to reach as much as 65 feet. But even that is a “conservative analysis,” as size could protect against their #1 predator.

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Did you know? When octopuses are caught in the act of moving rocks and destroying the hard work of their aquarists, they drop everything and slowly back away like nothing happened.

flickr

Freshwater stingrays by Aaron Gustafson
Via Flickr:
Potamotrygon henlei on the left, Potamotrygon magdalenae on the right.

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The Okeanos Explorer has discovered a very cute octopus at a depth of 4,290 metres.

This is the deepest an octopus of this particular sub order of octopus has ever been seen. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration noted this is a completely unsubscribed species and perhaps not belonging to any specific genus. Highlighting how little we still know about the creatures in the depths of our oceans.

(Ocean Explorer)

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Blacktip Reef Shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus)

Photos taken by Connor Butler - Tioman Island, Malaysia.