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International > The picture of the week > Giant manta rays

Picture of the week (No.9): 
Video en pictures of giant manta rays off the coasts of the Revillagigedo archipelago in Mexico.                             Share

Each week (actually about 3 times a month), Willgoto selects a nice picture and shows it here. This time, we have chosen a video that films giant oceanic manta rays off the coasts of the Revillagigedo Islands (Mexico) in the Pacific Ocean. The giant oceanic manta ray is a particularly impressive ray which can be up to 7 meters wide and weigh up to two tons.

You find the video at the bottom of this page. Only the title of the video is in Dutch.

The country: the Revillagigedo archipelago, also known as Socorro islands after the largest island of the archipelago, is part of Mexico. It is located in the Pacific Ocean, about 380 km to the west of the Mexican resort town of Cabo San Lucas. The archipelago consists of 4 volcanic islands: San Benedicto, Socorro, Roca Partida and Clarion.

In the surrounding waters, large pelagic species, such as manta rays, whales, dolphins and sharks, are particularly abundant. Therefore, in July 2016, UNESCO inscribed the Revillagigedo archipelago on the list of world heritage.

The giant oceanic manta rays (Manta birostris) live mainly in tropical waters. They are the largest of the rays. On average, they are 4.5 m in width and they weigh 1.4 ton. Despite its weight, it can be swift in case of danger. Another species of manta, the reef manta rays (Manta alfredi) occur within close proximity of coasts, reefs or islands. With an average width of 3 m, they are smaller than giant oceanic rays.

Both manta species are considered vulnerable by the IUCN in its Red List of Endangered Species particularly because its rate of reproduction does not compensate for overfishing (their gills are used in traditional Chinese medicine).

The species of mobulas ("sea devils"), which, like mantas, are part of the family Mobulinae, differ from the mantas mainly because they have subterminal rather than terminal mouths. The size of the mobulas varies depending on the species, but does not usually exceed 5 m. 

See these pictures of manta rays and mobula:


Manta ray


Mobula


See also other nice photos of scuba diving:


Borneo (Malaysia)


Sulawesi (Indonesia)


Azores


Australia

The author of the photos. The author of all above pictures (except those from Australia) is Dirk Wuyts. His web site (http://www.adcdiving.be) is dedicated to photos and travelogues of the ADC scuba diving Antwerpen - Deurne (diving club and school). The site, in Dutch, contains countless pretty pictures of underwater life in different parts of the world. Many of those photos have been also published in English in our site.

See also:
Picture of the week 1: Bee hummingbird, the smallest bird in the world. It is endemic to Cuba.
Picture of the week 2: Pagoda of the Golden Rock in Myanmar. It is one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in the world.
Picture of the week 3: Seychelles beach. Seychelles is a perfect destination for a dream holiday.
Picture of the week 4: Lemur of Madagascar (Coquerel's sifaka), an endangered species of primates, which, like all other species of lemurs, is endemic to Madagascar.
Picture of the week 5: World heritage in Cambodia. The temple of Banteay Srei, better known as 'Citadel of the women', in Cambodia is a jewel of Khmer art and a world heritage site.
Picture of the week 6: Bull shark and tiger shark. Both sharks are unfortunately known for fatal attacks on humans. However, experienced divers can approach them and swim with them.
Picture of the week 7: Firewalking in Mauritius. Walking barefoot over a bed of hot embers is an ancestral religious practice.
Picture of the week 8: The flower carpet of the Grand Place in Brussels. This carpet made up of about a million cut flowers is a tourist attraction that takes place every two years.

See  all our "Pictures of the week".


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Video and pictures of giant manta rays off the coasts of the Revillagigedo archipelago in Mexico. The giant oceanic manta ray is a particularly impressive ray which can be up to eight meters wide and weigh up to two tons.