rays in mexico

Stingrays, Eagle Rays, Mobula Rays & Manta Rays

Rays in Mexico Caribbean Sea

There is a diverse variety of rays in Mexico. They inhabit different oceans of the world and some even inhabit fresh water streams and rivers. While most people believe that all rays are similar, the truth cannot be further than this misconception.

All species of rays are different from one another in a lot of ways, which include shape, size and lethality. All rays are similar to sharks–they have cartilage instead of bones in their bodies. Plus, they are flat in shape and have big rounded pectoral fins, which are merged with their head and body.

Many rays swim using their large flat fins and most use an intricate wave like movement to swim, where as others swim by flapping their fins. The main source of their food is filter, mollusks and buried sand.

Which of the following Rays in Mexico are you ready encounter?


Stingrays are more popularly known in comparison other species. And that is because you can easily identify them – they have long, thin tails, which are coated with pointy stings. A majority of stingrays also have venom glands located on their tail. Get too close one and it will sting you with its tail, injecting very painful venom. However, there is nothing to worry about as stingrays only attack when they feel threatened.

Stingrays can also be identified by their signature diamond-shape and the fact they tend to half bury themselves in sand looking for food. Stingrays spend most of their time on the sea floor.

Manta Rays

Although manta rays do not have sharp stings on their tails, the ray can be said to be another type of stingray. They are big rays with a fin span of 25 feet and most weight up to 3000 pounds. However, despite being big, they are harmless and spend a majority of their time bottom feeding and filtering. Manta rays are elegant swimmers that have graceful maneuverability and have very quick movement, despite a 25 foot fin span!

Mobula Rays

Mobula rays can be compared in size with other rays that swim in the world’s oceans. Also known as ‘devil fish’ or ‘flying mobula’, these rays are dark blue with the top being black and a white underbelly. Mobula rays can grow up to 17 feet in size. They spend their time looking for plankton, which is a main source of their food. Mobula rays are not dangerous and will only attack in self-defense.

Eagle Rays

Eagles have long elongated tails and are 9 meters in size. With inky blue bodies the eagle ray can also be identified with its angular disc and a wide snout. Eagle rays have sharply curved corners and they don’t have a caudal fin. Eagle rays unlike other rays in the ocean tend to prey on shrimps, octopus, small fish and clams. They are also fast swimmers, which also makes them efficient hunters. They swim quite close to the sea floor and occasionally jump out of water, almost attempting to fly.

While your snorkeling trip to turtles or reef snorkeling in Puerto Morelos with Absolute Adventure, you’ll see stingrays, and if you’re lucky you will also be able to see the Eagle ray, which mostly appears in winters. 

Apart from that, sometimes tourists hit the jackpot and spot Manta rays and Mobula rays on a summer tour to swim with Whale Sharks with Absolute Adventure.


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