- SEA LIFE, Bay of Rays
There are over 500 different species of Rays and Skate in our oceans and rivers
Their closest relative is the Shark; Rays evolved from Sharks around 150 million years ago! Just like Sharks, Rays don’t have a bony skeleton. Instead, their skeleton is made of cartilage (just like our nose and ears!) This makes them lighter so it is easier for Rays to glide through the ocean.
Be enchanted by our assortment of amazing rays! We have a variety of rays swimming around in our Bay of Rays display as well as our Cownose rays at Caribbean Cove.
How many species of ray will you spot?
Cownose rays swim near the surface but have been seen at depths up to 72 feet.
These smiley guys get their name from the shape of their nose
Long Distance Swimmers
In the wild, cownose rays can migrate from the Gulf of Mexico to Brazil. Scientists are still trying to discover why the rays travel such great distances.
Cownose rays have mildly venomous spines and typically only sting when threatened.
The first Cow nosed ray born in Ireland! You can spot him swimming alongside our dwarf tail nurse sharks at 'Caribbean Cove'.
Bluespotted Ribbontail Ray
It's easy to see where these creatures get their names from. The blue-spotted ribbontail ray is commonly found near coral reefs. Although it is brightly coloured, its blue spots disguise its shape when seen from above in the light of a sunny coral reef.
- Thornbacks are a short-snouted ray with a similar general shape as other rays with the pectoral fins at almost 90-degree angles joining head and body
- Females grow to a larger size than males
- They like to hide and bury themselves in the sediment during the day and come out at dusk to hunt