Manta rays are large rays belonging to the genus Mobula. They are filter feeders and eat large quantities of zooplankton. Both species are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Anthropogenic threats include pollution, entanglement in fishing nets, and direct harvesting for their gill rakers for use in Chinese medicine.
About Manta ray in brief
Manta rays are large rays belonging to the genus Mobula. They are filter feeders and eat large quantities of zooplankton. Mantas are found in warm temperate, subtropical and tropical waters. Both species are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Anthropogenic threats include pollution, entanglement in fishing nets, and direct harvesting for their gill rakers for use in Chinese medicine. The scientific naming of mantas has had a convoluted history, during which several names were used for both the genus and species. All were eventually treated as synonyms of the single species Manta birostris. The genus name Manta was first published in 1829 by Dr Edward Nathaniel Bancroft of Jamaica. The specific name alfredi was first used by Australian zoologist Gerard Krefft. Authorities were still not in agreement and some argued that the black color morph was a different species from the mostly white morph. A 2009 study analyzed the differences in the differences. in color, meristic variation, denticles, and different populations of different populations. Two distinct species emerged: Manta alFredi and Manta spinarily spinarily. The former is more coastal, while the latter is more ocean-going and migratory. A third possible species, called Manta hynei, is preliminarily called spinarily and reaches at least 6 m in width.
The larger species, M. bi Frostris, reaches 7 m in width while the smaller, M Alfredi, reaches 5. 5 m. Both have triangular pectoral fins, horn-shaped cephalic fins and large, forward-facing mouths. Manta rays and devil rays are the only ray species that have evolved into filter feeder. The name ‘manta’ is Portuguese and Spanish for mantle, a type of blanket-shaped trap traditionally used to catch rays. Manta rays are members of the order Myliobatiformes which consists of stingrays and their relatives. The genus Manta is part of the eagle ray family Mylioobatidae, where it is grouped in the subfamily Mobulinae along with the Mobula devil rays. In 2017, an analysis of DNA, and to a lesser degree, morphology, found that Mobula was paraphyletic with respect to the manta rays, and they recommended treating Manta as a junior synonym ofMobula. Manta still has a vestigial remnant of a sting barb in the form of a caudal spine. The mouths of most rays lie on the underside of the head, while in mantas, they are right at the front. They are protected in international waters by the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals, but are more vulnerable closer to shore. Areas where mantas congregate are popular with tourists, only a few public aquariums are large enough to house them.