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Where are the manta ray exhibits in the world?

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by DavidBrown, 15 May 2012.

  1. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Well-Known Member

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    Manta rays (Manta birostris) have been tracked with satellite tags and there are new discoveries about their movements: Researchers track manta rays with satellites. - latimes.com

    Where are there manta ray exhibits in the world?

    The only manta ray exhibit that I am aware of is at the Georgia Aquarium. Are there others?

    Sea World San Diego is opening a new roller coaster called Manta, but it appears that though it will have live rays that they will not be manta rays.

    Are manta rays hard to keep in captivity? It seems like they would be more widespread in the aquarium-zoo world if they were relatively easy to keep given their beauty, size, and charisma. I assume that they probably need more space than most facilities can provide?
     
    Last edited: 15 May 2012
  2. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Well-Known Member

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  3. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Thanks for the link! If I didn't already have many reasons to re-visit Georgia Aquarium the fact that there are still 4 manta rays there is quite appealing.
     
  4. birdvetpt

    birdvetpt Member

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    Lisbon Oceanarium had one a few months back, I think it is still there, in the central tank.
     
  5. BeardsleyZooFan

    BeardsleyZooFan Well-Known Member

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  6. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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    Lisbon Oceanarium released their manta in 2007. More recently a giant devil ray (or devilfish :)) has been on display. It's name in Portuguese is Manta-diabo, but it's not quite the same as the huge manta ray.
     
  7. Tim Brown

    Tim Brown Well-Known Member

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    Atlanta had a Devil Ray too [off-show] when i was there in 2010..it was only small,wonder what happened to it?
     
  8. condor

    condor Well-Known Member

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    Most literature still have all mantas under the name M. birostris but in 2009 (Marshall, Compagno and Bennett: Zootaxa 2301) it was established that there are at least two species: the smaller (up to 5.5 m in span) M. alfredi is almost entirely tropical, sometimes seen in relatively shallow coastal waters, and is found in the Indo-Pacific and east Atlantic. The larger (up to 7+ m in span) M. birostris can be seen both in tropical and warm temperate regions, tends to be found in deeper waters, and is found in the Indo-Pacific, east Pacific and Atlantic. In the Caribbean/W. Atlantic there is also a possible new manta species that is intermediate in size; its range only overlaps with M. birostris.

    I haven't done a thorough check but I wonder what species really are kept at the different aquariums. The mantas in Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium are M. alfredi. The one in Georgia Aquarium that came from South Africa is M. alfredi and the three that came from Florida are the possible new species. I haven't seen good photos of them but based on their origin I guess the manta at Lisbon Oceanarium was M. birostris, the mantas at Atlantis Aquarium are the possible new species or M. birostris, and the mantas at Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium are M. birostris or M. alfredi.

    I have attached three photomontages and a preliminary map from Marshall, Compagno and Bennett (2009). The first two montages illustrate the primary differences between typical M. birostris (A) and typical M. alfredi (B). I have not included the physiological differences (e.g. denticles) because they are of limited use to us. Both species also occur in rarer dark (with less white than typical) and light (with less black) morphs. Explanation to first two photomontages, each number representing a difference: (1) presence, colour and shape of supra-branchial shoulder patches (2) ventral spot distribution and colouration (3) presence or absence of caudal spine (5) colour of mouth.
    The final photomontage (with labels A, B, C, D) shows some examples of the possible new species from the Caribbean/W. Atlantic.
     

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    Last edited: 30 May 2012
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  9. Tim Brown

    Tim Brown Well-Known Member

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    Yes,some of the ones at Atlanta are differently marked..and the aquarium is of the opinion that they may be different species.They also told me that the mantas were a little bit smarter than the Whale Sharks!
     
  10. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Well-Known Member

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    That photo montage is quite striking Condor. Do you know if any genetics work has been done to see if there are genetic differences between these manta species?


     
  11. condor

    condor Well-Known Member

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    Yes, all confirm the general pattern:

    Clark. 2002. Population Structure of Manta birostris (Chondrichthyes: mobulidae) from the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Texas A&M University, Master's Thesis

    Kashiwagi, Marshall, Bennett and Ovenden. 2008. DNA evidence for cryptic species boundaries within Manta birostris? Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, American Elasmobranch Society, Montreal: 236

    Ito and Kashiwagi. 2010. Morphological and genetic identification of two species of manta ray occuring in Japanese waters: Manta birostris and M. alfredi. Japanese Society for Elasmobranch Studies 46: 8-10

    I have found good photos of the mantas kept at Lisbon Oceanarium and Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium. As expected, the Lisbon was M. birostris and the Osaka was M. alfredi.
     
  12. solanaskyes

    solanaskyes Member

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    Maxwell Aquapark Shinagawa (Tokyo) has had a manta ray on display since at least 2017.
     
  13. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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    I can't remember when exactly, but it's been since at least 2015 (I think before then too).
     
  14. SharkFinatic

    SharkFinatic Well-Known Member

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    Didn’t the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium manage to breed manta rays?