Eagle rays (the Myliobatidae family of fish) are a family of mostly large rays living in the open ocean rather than at the bottom of the sea. Eagle rays feed on snails, mussels and crustaceans, crushing their shells with their extremely hard teeth. They are excellent swimmers and are able to jump several metres above the surface.
The taxonomy of this group is uncertain; it is placed either in the order Myliobatiformes or Rajiformes. There are eight genera belonging to the eagle rays: Myliobatis (common eagle rays), Rhinoptera (cownose rays), Pteromylaeus (bull rays), Aetobatus (bonnet rays), Aetomylaeus (smooth tail eagle rays), Californica (bat rays), Mobula (devil rays), and Manta (manta rays). (In some taxonomies the devil rays and manta rays are placed their own family, Mobulidae.)
This obscure genus is distributed in the Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific. These rays were named because they lack a sting on the tail. Species include the banded eagle ray, Aetomylaeus nichofii, mottled eagle ray, Aetomylaeus maculatus, and ornate eagle ray, Aetomylaeus vespertilio.
The manta rays are the largest members of the ray family, ranging up to 6.7 m (22 ft) from wing tip to wing tip and weighing up to 1,350 kg (3,000 lb). They inhabit the tropical seas of the world and are often observed around coral reefs.
These rays can grow extremely large, up to 180 cm including the tail. The tail looks like a whip and may be as long as the body. It is armed with a sting. Eagle rays live close to the coast in depths of 1 to 30 m and in exceptional cases they are found as deep as 300 m. The eagle ray is most commonly seen cruising along sandy beaches in very shallow waters, its two wings sometimes breaking the surface and giving the impression of two sharks traveling together.
Quantification of drag and lift imposed by pop-up satellite archival tags and estimation of the metabolic cost to cownose rays (Rhinoptera bonasus) *.
Jan 01, 2005; Abstract--The recent development of the pop-up satellite archival tag (PSAT) has allowed the collection of information on a...