The southern eagle ray (Myliobatis tenuicaudatus) is a light olive-green coloured ray, adorned with blue spots and bars along its wings. Its underbelly is a pale colour, though sometimes it is grey instead. Their skin is uniformly smooth and lacks any rough denticles or thorns. And like many rays, they have a whip-like tail.
Galapagos shark (Carcharhinus galapagensis) is also known as the “grey reef whaler” or “mackerel shark.” In the Galapagos Islands you may hear locals call it cação (Portuguese), tiburón de Galapagos (Spanish), tollo (Spanish), or tollo-cazón (Spanish). Their name makes it sound like they stay just in the archipelago islands off of Ecuador, but they are actually pretty circumtropical in distribution. They prefer inshore waters (with strong currents and over a rocky bottom or coral reef), but have been reported offshore and crossing between islands. Juveniles tend to stick to their shallow waters, safe from predators- including their own parents! Both as juveniles and adults, these sharks are commonly seen in loose groups, patrolling the bottom.
The Fins United Initiative Founder Melissa has always been interested in #flatsharks, so when she came across another international scientist based in New Zealand studying them, they struck up a conversation and have been #majesticflapflap bff's since then. TFUI is proud to present close friend and colleague Helen Cadwallader, a PhD student at the University of Waikato Coastal Marine Field Station in Tauranga, New Zealand, studying the large population of stingrays that spend time in the Tauranga Harbour. She's also the creator of Apex Predators Project - check it out!
TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
SEE MELISSA'S TEDx TALK HERE:
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