Temperate tropical and subtropical waters around the world are where the manta ray can be found. There are two kinds of species. M. Birostris can grow as large as 23 feet, with M. alfredi growing to 18. M. Birostris prefer the open ocean. M. alfred likes to live near the coast.
Manta rays look like large underwater flying triangles due to the shape of their pectoral fins. Zooplankton are their main diet but they are becoming an endangered species because their rate of reproduction is very slow. The gestation period for Manta rays is more than a year, with several pups being born.
Mantas often become entangled in fishing nets and are also caught specifically for their prized gill rakers, which are used in Chinese medicine.
© Copyright Vince Capone 2013