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Blog

Diving blog highlighting all the amazing under water creatures and beauty. Discover Belize’s newest and largest Marine Reserve and most biologically-diverse coral atoll in the Western Hemisphere with Turneffe Flats Diving team.

CREATURE FEATURE | SPOTTED EAGLE RAY

Nick Barker

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Creature Feature: Spotted Eagle Rays (Aetobatus narinari) are amazingly beautiful and majestic, they can grow to over 9 feet wide and despite their size are usually shy of divers, this one however decided to swim along with our divers and gave us a photo opportunity too good to miss. Swimming right below us, we got a great view of her ‘fingerprint’, each Eagle ray has a unique pattern on their back and no two are the same, just like fingerprints on us. Eagle rays feed on shellfish, octopus, squid and even spikey sea urchins with their flat plate like, crushing  teeth.  Tucked away at the base of the tail are between 2 and 6 barbed venomous spines that they will use in defense should they get attacked, usually they are preyed upon by sharks, especially the Great Hammerhead shark, and will leap high out of the water as part of their escape plan. They have even been known to accidentally jump into boats surprising the people onboard! Due to overfishing this species is on the IUCN Red List as “Near Threatened” and numbers are declining.