Stingrays are one of the most amazing marine animals encountered. They can vary in size and are remarkably intelligent. However, National Geographic cameramen captured on video a curious phenomenon of these animals: they can "fly".
Although it is an amazing feat to come out of the sea and fly on the surface (about 2 meters high after the jump), the exact reason for this behavior is unknown.
Some of the most accepted theories are that rays use this action to aid in feeding, courtship, getting rid of parasites, or even as a means of communication.
In the video below, National Geographic cameramen recorded tens of thousands of mobula rays off the coast of California, United States.
"Although jumping behavior can occur during feeding or courtship events, we believe the most likely purpose of jumping behavior is communication, which may have a variety of applications in different behavioral settings," Joshua Stewart, of the Gulf of California Marine Program at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, told the BBC.
The mystery of these creatures is a little deeper than just their flight behavior. We know that they feed on small sea creatures, like plankton and fish, and we know that they give birth to only one offspring.
"We believe they are jumping to inform other stingrays in the area that food is available, and using the jump as a kind of signal to aggregate."
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Unfortunately, they are endangered, but due to their rather restless nature, we don't know much about their lives at sea.
SOURCES / Futurism / National Geographic