Creature Feature: Spotted Eagle Rays (Aetobatus narinari) are amazingly beautiful and majestic. They can grow to over nine feet wide and despite their size are usually shy of divers. This one decided to swim along with our divers and gave us a photo opportunity too good to miss. Swimming right below us, this eagle ray gave us a great view of her ‘fingerprint.’ Each eagle ray has a unique pattern on its back and no two are the same, just like our fingerprints. Eagle rays feed on shellfish, octopus, squid and even sea urchins with their flat plate-like, crushing teeth. Tucked away at the base of the tail are between two and six barbed venomous spines used for defense against sharks, especially the great hammerhead, and they can 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 their numbers are declining.
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.