The Graceful Dance of the Mobula Rays
Why do mobula rays jump out of the water? Do you know?
- The vibrations from the engine tickles them
- Showing off for a potential mate
- Get rid of parasites
- Communicate with the other rays
Mobula rays enjoy the warm, temperate seas around Costa Rica. These photos were taken in Drake Bay in May. Their appearance is similar to that of the manta rays, which are a part of the same family.
They feast on plankton, which is their major food source. Mobula rays are not dangerous and rely on fast bursts of speed and their large body size for defense.
They capture the scuba, snorkelers and boaters fascination as they can jump individually, or sometimes in a group of dozens. Onlookers can witness an aerobatic display as they gracefully project themselves out of the water.
The reason why? To answer the opening question: b), c) and d).
Mobula rays have to stay in perpetual motion to keep the water flowing through their gills to breathe.
The biggest danger to these rays is the new market that has opened. They are heavily sought after for their gill plates used in Asian medicine. They are often slaughtered as bycatch in commercial fishing.
Organizations like www.mantatrust.org can be researched for more information about conservation efforts.