By Alex Kydd @alexkyddphoto - Eagle ray breach! I recently witnessed this eagle ray breaching whilst out with @ningaloomarineinteractions. He/she looked to be attempting to remove something that was causing it quite a discomfort! Probably a remora from what we could see in the photos? You can see in the footage its rubbing its face and body into the sand. Amazing to witness it from above and below 🦇 .
Unlike their stingray relatives, Eagle Rays have a pronounced head with a snout, and eyes on the side of the head. These rays are beautifully marked, with a black, dark brown or dark gray with a bare white underside. Spotted Eagle Rays have rings or spots on their backside. These markings along the dorsum are individually specific and can be used as natural “tags” by scientists. Eagle Rays have a long thin tail with up to 7 barbed spines at the base. Wingspan in Bermudian rays generally ranges from 1.2 m (4 feet) to a maximum of about 2 m (6.5 feet). Feeding rays often leave craters in the sand as they submerse their large heads and excavate buried prey. They dig up molluscs like Calico and Ark Clams and larger individuals will even occasionally crack through a Conch. The mouth is located on the underside of the head. Eagle Rays do not have typical teeth; instead they have hardened dental plates in the upper and lower jaws, which they use for grinding and crushing mollusc shells.
Occasionally Eagle Rays can be seen jumping out of the water. The reason they do this remains a mystery. Scientists speculate that leaping rays may be females trying to avoid unwanted male attention, or they may do it to shake off parasites or remoras. They may also perform these noisy belly-flops just for fun.
#Conservation #Education #Research #OceanOptimism🌊 #OneOceanGlobal🌏 #EagleRay #Breach