reef manta ray

I was free diving in Fiji at a Manta cleaning station, waiting for my giant friends to show up, and I found this.

Gotta keep busy, those Mantas have no concept of arriving on time for a date.

vine

Whoa.

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Reef Manta Ray (Manta alfredi)

…a large species of Eagle Ray (Mobulidae) which is widely distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical Indo-Pacific, although a few individuals have been reported in the tropical East Atlantic. Like its more popular cousin (M. birostris) the reef manta ray is a gentle drifter, travelling along coastal habitats whilst filtering the water around it for nutrients. 

Classification

Animalia-Chordata-Chondrichtyes-Elasmobranchii-Myliobatiformes-Myliobatidae-Manta-M. alfredi

Images: Shiyam ElkCloner and Bartek.cieslak

Manta’s use their cephalic lobes (those “devil horns” from which they get the common group name of devil rays from) not only to help direct food into their mouths, but they act as rudders too!

When they want to turn, one lobe will fold in and when they want to go fast they both roll up like in this photo here.

Neat eh?!