I’ve found this really awesome site about Manta Rays. I’m generally more interested in the small creatures of the world, however, sometimes it’s nice to pay some attention to the big creatures of the sea. I’ve pulled some information from the website for you here, however if you are interested in learning more, please go to the link provided at the bottom. There is even conservation information on the website!
The skin of these animals is rough to the touch because it has conical dermal denticles, similar to tooth structures. Additionally, it is covered with a layer of mucus that protects it from infections. The color varies, as each individual has a unique pattern of spots that identifies them.
The primary food source for the Manta Ray is plankton which are various organisms in the water.
The courtship process may take several days and perhaps even weeks. What happens during this time is very interesting: usually several males congregate around a receptive female and compete to mate with her. This creates what is known as “train mating” characterized by about 25-30 males, arranged one behind the other, following the female’s movements while she leads them all.
At the end of this test, the female chooses a male and it bites its partner’s left pectoral fin to hold her. Then it positions itself so that bellies of both are bonded, and inserts one of its claspers in the female cloaca. The coupling lasts several seconds and usually the female stands still. After mating the male goes away and never returns to take part in parental care.
In the wild they may be victims of attacks by large sharks, killer whales and false killer whales, and of course man!