1 - 7 metres
There are various ray species in Galapagos, all quite striking for different reasons. Spotted eagle rays have a black top side with luminescent-looking white dots, manta rays can have a width of up to seven metres and you might even miss the golden rays as their sandy coloured topsides are fantastic camouflage against the sea floor.
Rays are cartilaginous fish that are closely related to sharks. They have a very flat, circular body shape and a long tail. Manta rays are named after their flat bodies, as manta translates to ‘carpet’ in Spanish. They are very graceful swimmers and instead of swimming side-to-side like sharks, rays move in an undulating top-to-bottom motion. When they are swimming, their fins look like wings during flight. Their flattened bodies also allow rays to hide against the sea floor. For example, stingrays can wait underneath a thin layer of sand whilst waiting for their prey to arrive.
Rays of Galapagos in Galapagos
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Endangered Rays of Galapagos
"The Galapagos Marine Reserve is home to over 50 species of sharks and rays, yet there is very little data for rays in Galapagos."
This project is investigating three species of ray found in Galapagos, looking at their population dynamics and genetic connectivity in order to better understand their conservation needs.