Eagle Ray Fish – Profile | Facts | Traits | Breeding | Diet

eagle ray fish
(Last Updated On: April 25, 2021)

The eagle ray fish is a gaggle of cartilaginous fishes within the family Myliobatidae, consisting principally of huge species dwelling within the open ocean reasonably than on the ocean backside.

Eagle ray fish profile

Eagle rays feed on mollusks and crustaceans, crushing their shells with their flattened teeth. They are wonderful swimmers and are in a position to breach the water as much as a number of meters above the floor.

Compared with different rays, they’ve long tails, and well-defined, rhomboidal bodies.

They are ovoviviparous, giving birth to as much as six younger at a time. They range from 0.48 to five.1 m (1.6 to 16.7 ft) in size and seven m (23 ft) in wingspan (Mobula birostris).

Geographic Range

The Eagle ray fish is globally distributed all through tropical and heat temperate waters as far north as North Carolina, U.S.A. in the summertime, and as far south as Brazil.

This species has additionally been identified to inhabit the red sea and oceanic waters surrounding the Hawaiian islands. Its latitudinal range spans from 43°N to 32°S.

Habitat

Eagle ray fish is a reef-related ray and is usually discovered alongside reef edges. It prefers warm water with delicate bottoms consisting often of mud, sand, and gravel.

Eagle ray fish spends most of its time around 60 m deep, however, could dive up 80 m deep. It is usually seen in seaside areas in addition to estuaries and mangrove swamps all through tropical areas of the world.

eagle ray fish

Eagle ray fish Description

Many eagle rays have a flattened snout that protrudes from the pectoral disc. The eagle ray fish could be distinguished by a pectoral disc that’s rough twice as extensive as it’s long.

The posterior fringe of the pectoral fins is concave and really angular suggestions. The ventral floor is white and the dorsal floor is both blue or black and peppered with white spots and rings. It has rounded pelvic fins and a really small dorsal fin, however, lacks a caudal fin all collectively.

The pectoral fins make up a majority of the pectoral disc and are acutely angled on the lateral suggestions. The eagle ray fish possesses stinging spines, which could be discovered behind the dorsal fin, and a slender whip-like tail that may be as much as thrice as long because of the width of the pectoral disc.

It can weigh as a lot as 230 kg and might attain disc widths of as much as 330 cm; nevertheless, the average disc width of eagle rays is 180 cm. Sexual dimorphism has not been reported on this species.

Diet

The primary prey of eagle rays consists of crustaceans, molluscs, echinoderms, and polychaete worms. It can be identified to sometimes devour smaller fish as nicely.

When the prey item is captured, the eagle ray fish crushes it between the higher and lower dental plates. Prior to ingestion, it makes use of 6 to 7 rows of papillae situated on the roof of the mouth to take away indigestible gadgets (e.g., shell and bone).

Eagle ray fish Behavior

The eagle ray fish feeds in keeping with the tide. During high tide, it usually forages for meals and socializes with conspecific close to sand flats. Mating often happens throughout high tide as nicely.

When the tide begins to fall, foraging activities taper off and it descends the water column to deeper water. At low tide, eagle ray fish typically rests in giant teams in deep water.

The cycle repeats as the tide rises. eagle ray fish is understood to leap high out of the water, a behavior often called breaching. It is hypothesized that eagle ray breaches as evasive maneuvering to keep away from predation and as a technique to take away ventrally hooked up parasites.

Females have been noticed giving birth throughout breaching because the pressure of landing back within the water is believed to assist push the pups out of the uterus. Eagle ray fish has been documented touring in colleges starting from 3 to 50 people.

Schooling is believed to happen more typically throughout the breeding season and has been advised as a predatory protection mechanism.

eagle ray fish

Eagle ray fish Communication

As with all cartilaginous fishes, the eagle ray has specialized electrosensory organs generally known as Ampullae of Lorenzini.

These sensory organs consist of jelly-filled pores that create an electrosensory network alongside the snout, which will increase the sensitivity of eagle ray to prey motion, as muscle contractions create {an electrical} pulse.

In common, elasmobranchs have wonderful vision and olfactory notion, which assist them to keep away from predators and detect prey.

In addition, all fish have a lateral line system that enables them to sense modifications in stress and temperature within the surrounding environment.

There isn’t any information accessible relating to intraspecific communication in Aetobatus narinari.

Predation

Silvertip sharks and great hammerheads are vital predators of spotted eagle rays. Sharks have additionally been reported to observe eagle rays throughout the birthing season in an effort to feed on new child pups.

Similar to different cartilaginous fishes, spotted eagle rays have a network of electrosensory organs on their snout that helps them detect potential predators.

In addition, all fish have a lateral line system that enables them to detect modifications in temperature and stress of their fast environment.

Ecosystem

Eagle rays are predators of quite a lot of marine invertebrates and are vital prey for a lot of shark species. Information relating to parasites particular to this species is restricted, nevertheless, ectoparasites equivalent to marine leeches, are considered widespread. Endoparasites equivalent to trematodes and tapeworms are widespread as nicely.

Development

The eagle ray fish is ovoviviparous, as its eggs develop contained in the uterus and hatch throughout the mom previous to rising. Once the embryos are launched from the egg, they’re nourished by a yolk sac reasonably than by a placental reference to the mom. . Newborn pups usually measure 17 to 35 cm in disc width.

eagle ray fish

Eagle ray fish Reproduction

Prior to mating, a number of eagle ray males chase a single female whereas greedy her dorsum with their higher tooth plate. A single male then grabs one of many feminine pectoral fins and roles her right into a vertical place and inserts his claspers.

Copulation can final from 20 to 90 seconds and females have been identified to repeat this process as much as 4 occasions over a comparatively quick time period.

The mating system of eagle rays has not been clearly outlined; nevertheless, the competitive behavior of males previous to copulations suggests polygyny.

Breeding season in eagle ray fish varies by location however often happens throughout mid-summer. Typically, females give birth to 2 pups per being pregnant however can have between 1 and 4.

Gestation lasts for roughly 12 months, however could be quick as 8 months relying on location and imply water temperature throughout gestation.

Evidence means that eagle ray fish turns into sexually mature once they develop to about half their most disc width, which usually happens between 4 and 6 years of age.

Other than the in-utero safety and yolk sac a mom supplies her younger previous to birth, there isn’t any information accessible relating to parental care in Aetobatus narinari.

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