Guide to the Manta and Devil Rays of the World

Guide to the Manta and Devil Rays of the World


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Manta and devil rays are some of the most charismatic creatures in the ocean. Born into a life of perpetual motion, these rays must keep swimming to survive. Driven forward by powerful beats of their wing-like pectoral fins, these filter feeding rays search the ocean currents for prey, their horn-like cephalic (head) fins giving rise to ancient mariners’ tales of fearsome devilfish dragging boats into the depths. Beloved by scuba divers and marine biologists alike, these impressive animals have never had a comprehensive field guide dedicated to them – until now.

Guide to the Manta and Devil Rays of the World includes detailed information on the identification, characteristics, threats and distribution for each of the species within this family of rays. Illustrated with over 200 beautiful colour photos, drawings and plates, this guide also contains an expansive introduction packed full of useful information on the general taxonomy, biology and behaviour of these iconic animals.

This book will be an invaluable field companion for any scientist, diver or marine enthusiast who has an interest in these fascinating creatures. It is an essential resource for fisheries management, international trade enforcement, and for anyone wanting to become involved in the ongoing efforts to research and conserve this threatened family of rays.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691183329
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 08/14/2018
Series: Wild Nature Press
Pages: 144
Sales rank: 296,065
Product dimensions: 6.80(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Guy Stevens is chief executive and founder of the Manta Trust. Daniel Fernando is associate director of the Manta Trust and cofounder of the Blue Resources Trust. Marc Dando is a scientific illustrator and publisher. His books include Sharks of the World and Pocket Guide to Sharks of the World (both Princeton). Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara is an Italian marine conservation ecologist who has worked for forty years to advance knowledge of marine mammals and cartilaginous fishes.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements and photographic credits 5

The authors 6

Save Our Seas Foundation 8

The Manta Trust 9

Introduction 11

An introduction to manta and devil rays 12

Taxonomy and evolution 14

Mobulid genetics 16

Feeding strategies 18

Leaping devils 26

Cleaning giants 30

Predators and wound healing 33

Intestinal eversion and vomiting 36

Remoras and hitchhikers 37

Courtship and mating 41

Mating scars 46

Gestation and pupping 48

Big and brainy 51

Patterning and morphs 52

Morphology 58

Spiracles 60

Gill plates 62

Sexual dimorphism 64

Species Accounts 65

Species key 66

Reef Manta Ray Mobula alfredi 70

Oceanic Manta Ray Mobula birostris 74

Longhorned Pygmy Devil Ray Mobula eregoodootenkee 78

West Atlantic Pygmy Devil Ray Mobula hypostoma 82

Shorthorned Pygmy Devil Ray Mobula kuhlii 86

Spinetail Devil Ray Mobula mobular 90

Munk's Pygmy Devil Ray Mobula munkiana 94

East Atlantic Pygmy Devil Ray Mobula rochebiunei 98

Sicklefin Devil Ray Mobula tarapacana 102

Bentfin Devil Ray Mobula thurstoni 106

Caribbean Manta Ray Mobula cf. birostris 110

Mobulids And People 113

Threats to mobulids 114

Fisheries 115

Gill plate trade 117

Bycatch and discard 119

Conserving mobulids 120

Protective legislation 124

Marine Protected Areas 126

Citizen science 129

Manta identification 130

Swimming with mobulids 131

Code of conduct 132

Appendices 135

Data collection protocols 136

Law enforcement and trade monitoring guide to the gill plates of mobulids 139

Glossary 143

Index 144

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