Have some sympathy for the devil... the devil fish, Mobula mobular, that is.
The Giant Devil Ray (scientifically known as Mobula mobular) is the largest species of the genus Mobula measuring at about 520 cm long in width for males and 1.5 tons in weight. They give birth to a single large pup (what we call baby mobulas) through aplacental viviparity and are found warm seas around the Mediterranean Sea and possibly throughout North Atlantic waters.
They are black on the top, white underneath, and have a tail with spine and prickles throughout. Found over continental shelves and near oceanic islands, they are taken as bycatch in many different fisheries around their range. They feed on small pelagic fishes and crustaceans and filter the food through their specialised gill plates.
Giant Devil Ray was previously assessed as Endangered in 2006, given its high bycatch mortality, limited reproductive capacity and restricted range. More recently, it was discovered that this species is the targeted catch of a massive purse seine fishery in the Levantine Sea... so, yeah. Still Endangered (EN).
WHAT DID YOU LEARN ABOUT THIS ANIMAL?
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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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