Giant manta ray born in captivity for first time
June 18, 2007
For the first time, a giant manta ray was born in captivity at an aquarium in Japan, reports the Associated Press.
The baby manta ray was born Saturday at the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, 374 days after its parents mated. The birth was recorded on film.
“In a video capturing the birth, the baby manta, rolled up like a tube, came sliding out of the mother manta, then quickly spread its fins and began swimming around,” reports the Associated Press.
The baby manta. Photo from the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
The baby, which is female, is about 6 feet (1.9 m) in width, while its mother is more than 13 1/2 feet wide (4.2 m) wide and its father is 11 1/2 feet wide 3.5 m). Giant manta rays (Manta birostris) can grow up to nearly 25 feet (7.6 m) in width. They are the largest species of ray and are distributed in the tropics world wide. The species feeds on small fish and plankton and are known to occasionally do airborne flips in the wild. Scientists do not know what drives this behavior.
The manta ray is sometimes called the devil ray or devilfish
The Okinawa Churaumi is the world’s second largest aquarium. The facility is currently trying to breed Whale Sharks.