Ray Migration
YouTube: Smithsonian Channel

Massive Ray Migration Sees The Huge Fish Take to the Skies


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A massive migration of rays is a beautiful sight.

The world's oceans are filled with thousands of natural wonders and unusual fish that look totally alien to our world. One of the stranger animals found in the ocean is the ray. These large fish are made up mostly of cartilage and have a flat appearance with to large pectoral fins that look almost like wings.

In fact, the fish seem to "fly" underwater if you are fortunate enough to observe one in their natural habitat. Sometimes, rays can be observed in massive migrations that fill the ocean with these majestic-looking fish.

When the fish start to gather in the hundreds or more, it makes for a spectacular and rare sight. Rays also sometimes take to the skies to attempt to impress a mate, an activity documented by a film crew from the Smithsonian Channel.

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While the rays in this video were called eagle rays, it appears they are mobula or "devil" rays, a slightly smaller species of ray that some scientists consider to be part of the same family. They can still attain a decent size that will make any human look twice. After all, it is not every day you see a giant flying pancake come rocketing out of the water.

The way these rays flex their pectoral fins on these jumps makes it obvious where names like "eagle ray" comes from though. They do look a little like a bird winging through the air when they breach the surface like this.

If you think the ray has a primitive appearance, you would be correct. Much like sharks, the greater ray family has been on this planet for millions of years. In fact, paleontologists have found fossils of different ray subspecies that pre-date the age of the dinosaurs.

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NEXT: THE AXIS DEER AND HOW THEY'RE IMPACTING PARTS OF THE UNITED STATES

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