JUL 07, 2015 8:35 AM PDT

Flying Rays


Picture a calm sea off the coast of Mexico. It's sunny, the waves are lapping along and then right out of nowhere comes some enormous bat-like fish, with a wing span the size of a car wheel and a long sharp tail. That would be a Mobula ray, second in size to the Manta ray and part of the same family of rays that cruise the warm ocean waters off Mexico.

The Mobulas swim in large groups and the males, while slightly larger than females, don't really stand out from crowd easily. A school of mobula rays is just a large moving mass of black and white. So, in order to show off their manly Mobular-ness, male rays will leap out of the ocean above the swimming pack, gracefully looking like they might actually take flight and then drop back down to the water's surface with a resounding belly flop. The noise they make hitting the water, attracts the attention of females and if all goes well, the males can find themselves a mate in no time. Some females get into the action too, leaping from the depths and crashing back down.

Check out this video from BBC to see the diving devil rays in action.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
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