It’s not just the sun that sends us stunning rays.
At WildQuest, we often see Southern Stingrays, while Giant Manta Rays are a rare treat – see the video!
These beauties glide gracefully through the water around Bimini include Southern Stingrays (Dasyatis americana), Spotted Eagle Rays (Aetobatus narinari), and Giant Manta Rays (Manta birostris). They range in size (respectively) from body widths of 3-5 feet (90-150 cm); 4-8 feet (1.2-2.5 m) and 6-24 feet (1.8-7 m).
Manta Rays cruise the shore, funneling small planktonic food into their wide open mouths. Their estimated lifespan is at least 40 years!
Look for Stingrays when snorkeling around reefs, where they feast on crabs, snails and small fish. Generally docile around humans, they reserve their sharp tail spine for defence when harassed or accidentally stepped upon.
Spotted Eagle Rays have a duck billed snout used for digging in the sand for prey & long whiplike tails with 2-6 spines.
Eagle Rays cruise Bimini bay in small groups, so watch for them when heading out of the channel to the dolphin grounds. If you are lucky, you may see one leap (up to 6 feet) from the water!
A selection of Southern Stingrays in action: