Rays are generally amongst my favorite animals in the Ocean (remember I always lie about favorite animals as I just can’t choose 1 amongst these incredible creatures) as you may have noticed by the numerous posts on Manta Rays…
Manta Rays are seasonally, so we know that generally between June and November we will be swimming with them. Eagle
Rays, on the other hand, are common throughout the year, but as snorkelers we do not encounter them every day. Last month it’s been a special month with Eagle Rays encounters as we met them several times on our reefs, maybe due to clear waters and stronger currents they were coming closer to our snorkelling spots and allowed us to enjoy their view pretty regularly.
Aetobatus narinari, or commonly called Eagle Ray, is the most common species found in the Maldives, it is seen alone or sometimes hanging around in groups. They are famous for loving currents and they are often seen swimming into it like birds flying in the sky, but you know it, they are cartilaginous cousins of Manta Rays and Sharks.
Their long snout is used to dig in the sand and get hold of invertebrates (more rarely small fish) trying in vain to hide; their mouth is located on the ventral part of their body, making it almost impossible for preys to escape. They are capable of crashing the shells of mollusks and crustaceans and hence enjoy a rich meal.
We hope the sightings of Eagle Rays will remain frequent in the next few weeks and we hope you’ll have a chance to swim along them with us!