Tuesday, August 05, 2008

1 Manta, 2 Manta

There's an interesting story doing the rounds about Manta rays right now. Supposedly Manta birostris is going to be split into two species. It sounds like the different species are going to be a smaller locality-faithful species and a much bigger ranging species (much like the recent split of bottlenosed dolphin into inshore and offshore species).

That would make this chap the smaller local species.


I'm fairly sure I'm lucky enough to be able to claim to have seen both Mantas (assuming the split stays at two) - this was taken at a cleaning station that gets visitors every day but I've been surprised by very big mantas on a couple of occasions elsewhere too (its an awesome surprise). I've also seen but sadly not yet photographed a few Mobula species as well (like Manta only slightly different). Bottom line is whichever species you see, devil rays are cool.

Update: DSN has a bit more detail on the programme that led to the split here. There are apparently 23 species names vying for priority for the "new" species right now!

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