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Atlantic Manta Ray - Manta birostris
Photo by Joyce and Frank Burek

Atlantic manta rays are the largest species of ray in the world. They have broad mouths with distinctive extensions on either side that help them direct large amounts of plankton towards their mouths. Their back is typically dark brownish-black with white undersides that show dark markings. They can have "wingspans" up to 29 feet and can weigh up to 3000 lbs. Atlantic manta rays are found throughout the world and can sometimes be seen congregating in groups of up to 50 individuals where there are large concentrations of zooplankton.

Atlantic Manta Ray
(Manta birostris)

Distribution
In the northwest Atlantic from the Georges Bank to Brazil, and the Gulf of Mexico

Habitat
Nearshore waters, reef systems and open water

Diet
Plankton

Status

The status of this species is representative of the populations within the waters of this Sanctuary only, not global populations.

Quick Fact
Atlantic manta rays are known to occasionally leap from the water, leading to explosive splashes.

Learn More
- Australian Museum
- Florida Museum of Natural History
- FishBase