The spotted eagle ray, or eagle ray as it is also called, is one of the oddest looking creatures on earth that appears to fly through the water.
Spotted eagle rays frequently travel in schools and it literally looks like a flock of birds flying overhead, except that its a school of spotted eagle rays "flying" gracefully through the water. Truly one of the most impressive sights I have ever seen. To see what I mean, check out this short video of schooling eagle rays.
Spotted eagle rays are also known to leap out of the water, especially when being chased, quite an impressive sight I imagine.
Although spotted eagle rays have a venomous tail spine, they are generally shy and are no threat to humans unless provoked.
Also interesting is that spotted eagle rays, like all rays, are cousins of sharks. Who knew? I personally don't see the family resemblence. Source: Floria Museum of Natural History, Spotted Eagle Ray
Why the Spotted Eagle Ray Needs Our Help
Spotted eagle rays are considered near threatened by the IUCN. Their population numbers are not known making it difficult to define their conservation status. Although spotted eagle rays are rarely eaten for food, they are frequently caught as by catch which is believed to be having a dramatic impact on their numbers. Source: ARKive Spotted Eagle Ray
Help Save the Spotted Eagle Ray
- Only buy sustainably sourced seafood, follow the Marine Stewardship Council's Guidelines
- Reduce your CO2 emissions which will help stop the seas from rising and also reduce the acidity in the oceans caused by CO2 emissions which is killing sea life
- Volunteer at a beach clean up
- Volunteer to safeguard coral reefs - a favourite hangout of spotted eagle rays
- Send a free e-card courtesy of Save our Seas to help spread the word
- Sign a pledge at thankyouocean.org your actions will help save the spotted eagle ray and other marine species
- Connect with thankyouocean.org through your social networks (Twitter, Facebook, MySpace)
- Visit Save Our Seas for more ideas
- Visit Help Save Animals for more ideas, especially about reducing plastic consumption
Spotted Eagle Ray in the Galapagos photo courtesy of K Malik