Sunday, June 23, 2024

Cownose Rays Now Found In The Waters Off Bermuda


Researchers have found that the Atlantic cownose ray (Rhinoptera bonasus) has moved into the waters around Bermuda.

The research was conducted by a scientist from Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and used various methods, including photographs, water observations and citizen science.

The latest news is an interesting observation since cownose rays are a highly migratory species that generally prefer tropical and temperate waters. The species is typically found on continental shelves.

Commenting on the findings, the study’s lead author Matt Ajemian, an associate research professor and director of the Fisheries Ecology and Conservation Lab at FAU Harbor Branch, stated:

“We don’t exactly know how many Atlantic cownose rays are actually present in Bermuda and whether it’s a single group that keeps getting re-sighted in various locations or whether the species is more broadly distributed across inshore sounds and harbors.  Although all of the cownose rays in Bermuda to date are females, we also observed small, immature rays suggesting pupping may have recently occurred here. Moreover, there have been reports of behaviors indicative of copulation, including close following and biting of pectoral fins that suggests male rays are also present in the area. Atmospheric conditions including wind and extreme weather events such as storms have been shown to trigger abnormal migratory behaviors in other large marine animals such as loggerhead sea turtles.”

You can find the original research here.

Sam Helmy
Sam Helmy
Sam Helmy is a TDI/SDI Instructor Trainer, and PADI Staff and Trimix Instructor. Diving for 28 years, a dive pro for 14, I have traveled extensively chasing my passion for diving. I am passionate about everything diving, with a keen interest in exploration, Sharks and big stuff, Photography and Decompression theory. Diving is definitely the one and only passion that has stayed with me my whole life! Sam is a Staff Writer for