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Thread: Friendly Manta Ray.

  1. #1
    Ausfish Addict disorderly's Avatar
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    Friendly Manta Ray.

    Just wondering if anybody had these big critters come right up to them before....?

    I got my scuba ticket over 30 years back and been diving and snorkelling ever since..

    But yesterday was a highlight ..just as we had lifted anchor and were leaving our last dive site off Beaver Cay off Mission Beach one of our Wwoofers spotted a huge shadow in the water so I grabbed a mask and jumped in and this guy just came right up to me within 2 metres and started turning backward somersaults....the missus and our pommy wwoofers jumped in too ....

    The ray hung around us, backward somersaulting under water and just cruising around us for probably 15-20 minutes before moving on...

    He sure was a friendly bugga...but never having experienced this before I dont know whether thats normal behavior or not..?

    Any Ray experts on here...?



    manta.jpg

  2. #2

    Re: Friendly Manta Ray.

    I snorkelled with them in Shark Bay three years ago. Wonderful experience.

  3. #3
    Ausfish Addict disorderly's Avatar
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    Re: Friendly Manta Ray.

    Quote Originally Posted by gunna View Post
    I snorkelled with them in Shark Bay three years ago. Wonderful experience.
    I bet it was, mate...it was an absolute treat for us as well.....the chick that was with us had been diving all over the world and even over at Shark bay but this was her first time seeing one..so of course she was estatic..

    We sent some photo's off to "Project manta" which is run by Queensland Uni and from the photo's they determined that this Manta was not on their Database..apparently every manta has different markings on its belly like a fingerprint.....we called this one "Harriet" after the girl that was with us..

    https://www.facebook.com/ProjectMANTA

    Some fun facts for anyone interested....

    This one is a reef Manta as opposed to Oceanic Manta's which can grow to 7 metres across...thats a big animal...!

    They are also very smart and can live to over 50 years and are slow breeding with 1 to 2 pups after a 12-13 month pregnancy..

    One of the main threats to them is the use of their gill rakers in Chinese medicine..

    The Barrel roll's or somersaults this one was doing is how they feed and only done when there is a abundant amount of plankton in the water..we had just seen a large amount of what we thought was some type of sediment come through while we were in the water which cut visibility in half..apparently this is plankton..

    All in all a very cool critter...

  4. #4
    Ausfish Addict disorderly's Avatar
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    Re: Friendly Manta Ray.

    On the Project manta FB page there is a now a couple of pics of "Harriet", the newest addition to the east coast database at #1408.

    https://www.facebook.com/ProjectMANTA


  5. #5

    Re: Friendly Manta Ray.

    We had a manta experience 15 odd years ago, snorkelling with a group of 10-20 along a reef edge off Fitzroy. They weren't the least bit concerned with the 2 boats or snorkelers.
    nil carborundum illegitimi

  6. #6

    Re: Friendly Manta Ray.

    I remember once off North West Island in late 80's seeing lots of small fins breaking the surface, on closer examination it appeared to be a school of small manta rays around 1metre wide. There would have been over 30 of them, we'd never heard if them schooling like that.. At that stage we'd only seen big ones when they left the water, that in itself is a spectacular sight.

  7. #7

    Re: Friendly Manta Ray.

    That somersault behaviour is them feeding mate, they find a concentration of plankton and gorge without having to swim far. Seen them do it a few times when I've been spearing out round Potter and Sharon Shoal. Totally unconcerned about humans when they're that focused on food. Come to think of it, I'm a bit like that too.

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