Baby Manta Rays: An Unusual Event

Among the sea creatures, we find the baby manta rays whose photographs have gone around the world due to their adorable appearance. With apparent eyes followed by plump cheeks, without upper legs but with tender lower limbs, they have earned the admiration of all nature lovers.

If you have ever sat in front of the sea to carefully observe the surprises it offers us, perhaps you have encountered the magical jump of a manta ray. On some beaches in the world it is possible to observe unexpected jumps

Cute baby stingrays

Human empathy arises from what is known, from what is familiar to us, which is why some beings awaken a very strong sentimental connection in us, such as pet animals that we usually read through human expressions and behaviors. However, when it comes to marine beings, empathy can be lost a little due to the great differences that exist, since they are cognitively unknown to us from what we are used to seeing.

But the human’s main ability is to find those cracks of familiarity wherever they put their eyes and it is for this reason that photographs of them are so adorable. At first glance one can almost assure that their faces are on the underside of the animals; eyes, mouth, even colored cheeks and legs that give an even more tender touch to the image.

It is enough to admire the images for just a few seconds to feel the sweetness that they awaken in us. However, when you look at them more closely, one can realize that what we are looking at is not really their faces, although they are still beautiful.

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Baby Manta Rays: What Do We Really See?

The mouth is located at the bottom of these amazing animals and is equipped with two plates that are adapted to crush the shells of crabs, shrimp and mollusks. However, what appear to be their eyes are actually their nostrils, their counterpart in humans would be the nostrils. Where we see two chubby cheeks are actually their gill slits where they breathe. And finally the two pairs of legs are part of the pelvic fin that helps them move on the sand at the bottom of the sea.

The eyes, as expected, are located on the upper part of the blankets, positioned on both sides of their body to have greater visibility of their space and thus be able to hunt their prey and stay safe from possible predators.

Although the anatomy of the babies is a little different from what our eyes lead us to believe, they are still surprising animals that are related to sharks and belong to the order of cartilaginous fish. Learning about them is vital to support their conservation, since like corals, they are threatened by habitat loss.