Who You Calling A Cow?
We’re meeting an awesome ocean animal today at Camp E&E! Let’s meet a member of elasmobranch (sharks and rays) family that’s been named after a familiar farm animal!
- They can be found in the western Atlantic & Caribbean Ocean from Brazil to New England.
- Cownose rays can grow up to 7ft across but the average wingspan is 2 1/2ft and they can weigh up 26 lbs.
- Cownose rays are carnivores. They eat clams, mussels & other invertebrates. They use their specialized fins on their heads to help suck prey in to their mouths.
- They are listed as near threatened by the IUCN.
Cownose Ray Fun Facts:
- Cownose rays have a unique indentation on their head.
- They are known to swim in schools.
- Cownose rays have a flat ridge of bony teeth help them chomp through those delicious prey and then they spit out the shells.
- They often use their fins to disturb the sea floor and find food. When hundreds of them do this at once it is quiet the site to see.
- Like other rays- they have a barb near the base of their tail with toxic venom. Cownose Rays toxin is not very strong.
- Cownose rays are a member of the eagle ray family.
- They are cartilaginous fish!
- Unlike some other rays, they rarely rest on the bottom of the ocean floor!
- Their eyes are on the sides of their cownose shaped head.
- Cownose rays’ spiracles (helps them push water over their gills) are on top of their body.
- Females give birth to one pup at a time.
These super cool members of the ray family are one of our favorites! They are so graceful to watch swim near the surface of the ocean! And we can’t help but think they look a bit like they are smiling!