The Manta Ray (Manta birostris) is closely related to sharks. Like the shark their skeleton is made of cartilage. On average they are about 20 feet wide and weigh up to 3000 pounds. They are the largest of the rays. They are dark brown or black above and white underneath. Two flap-like lobes extending from their eyes are used to funnel microscopic plankton into their mouths. They also eat small fish and crustaceans. They have no teeth.
The word manta is Spanish meaning blanket, which is a word that describes the appearance of these animals very well. Mantas are distributed worldwide and generally inhabit tropical seas. They are graceful swimmers using their fins to propel them through the water. They are also known to leap clear out of the water. They have few natural predators, such as the shark or killer whale.
For more facts and information about the Manta Ray and Stingray, visit our sister's website Animals n More.
There are several plush toy Manta Rays and other types of ocean going rays here at Jeannie's Cottage LLC. See them below.