- manta ray
Any of several genera of warm-water marine rays, constituting the family Mobulidae, that are wider than they are long.Extensions of the pectoral fins project from the front of the head, looking like devils' horns; these sweep plankton and small fishes into their mouths. The long, whiplike tail may have one or more stinging spines. Mantas swim near the surface by flapping their pectoral fins. The largest species, the powerful but inoffensive Atlantic manta, or giant devil, ray (Manta birostris), may grow to over 23 ft (7 m) wide; contrary to old tales, it does not envelop and eat divers.
* * *▪ fishalso called devil ray,any of several genera of marine rays comprising the family Mobulidae (class Selachii). Flattened, and wider than they are long, manta rays have fleshy, enlarged pectoral fins that look like wings; extensions of these fins, looking like devils' horns, project as the cephalic fins from the front of the head. Manta rays have short whiplike tails provided, in some species, with one or more stinging spines.Manta rays, related to sharks and skates, are found in warm waters along continents and islands. They swim at or near the surface, propelling themselves by flapping their pectoral fins and, at times, leaping or somersaulting out of the water. They feed on plankton and small fishes that they sweep into their mouths with their cephalic fins.The smallest of the manta rays, species Mobula diabolis of Australia, grows to no more than 60 cm (2 feet) across, but the Atlantic manta, or giant devil ray (Manta birostris; see ), largest of the family, may grow to more than 7 m (23 feet) wide. The Atlantic manta is a well-known species, brown or black in colour and very powerful, but inoffensive. It does not, old tales to the contrary, envelop pearl divers and devour them.
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