Miercoles Megafauna: Spotted Eagle Ray

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Common Name: Spotted Eagle Ray

 

Latin NameAetobatus Narinari

 

Where you can see them here: Spotted Eagle Rays are commonly seen on the shallow sites feeding in the sand. But always look down on your safety stop on Tortugas and you might spot one gliding by. Early in the year they school in groups both here and in Cozumel.

 

How to identify them: As one of the most beautiful rays, the spotted eagle ray has a dramatic spotted pattern across the upper side of the body. The small white spots or rings are distinct against the black, dark gray or brown body color. Their underside is white in color, making it easy to see them underwater as they flap their pectoral fins during swimming. They have a wide snout which protrudes at the front and their wing span can reach up to 3 metres.

What you may not know about them:  They are considered potentially dangerous to humans due to the venomous tail spines that can inflict serious wounds. Eagle rays feed on mollusks and crustaceans, crushing their shells with their flattened teeth.

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