Aerial Footage of Leaping Mobula Rays
Posted on May 27 2016
SOARING over two metres above the water, you would be forgiven for thinking these winged wonders are a type of bird - but they are actually flying mobula rays. Captured on camera by zoologist and wildlife photographer Mark Carwardine, the rays, known to local fisherman as ’flying tortillas’, measure just over three feet in width. Carwardine encountered the giant rays demonstrating their acrobatic skills by bursting out of the water with their wings outstretched off the East coast of Baja, Mexico. He said: “I spend every winter running whale-watching trips in Baja California, Mexico – it’s one of my favorite places on the planet – and, on my most recent trip, we saw something quite extraordinary."
Mobula is a genus of ray in the family Myliobatidae(eagle rays). Their appearance is similar to that of manta rays, which are in the same family. Species of this genera are often collectively referred to as "devil rays", "flying mobula" or simply "flying rays", due to their propensity for breaching, sometimes in a spectacular manner. The devil fish can attain a disc width of up to 5.2 m (17 ft) and can probably weigh over a ton, second only to the Manta species in size. Despite their size, little is known about this genus, much of it being from anecdotal accounts.