Identity card

LATIN NAME : Mobula birostris

FAMILY : Myliobatidae

PHYLUM : Chordata

CLASS : Chondrichthyes

A tireless traveller, the manta ray is an iconic open sea species. Its beauty is captivating.

It lives close to the surface, at depths of between 0 and 1000 metres. Its distribution is very localised on reefs.

Giant manta rays gather at the highest points, where the currents carry along the plankton on which they feed. They supplement their diet with small fish and crustaceans.

Giant manta rays can reach 8 metres in length and can weigh up to 1,8 tonnes, which makes them the largest ray in the world

  • Distribution :

    It is found in tropical areas all over the world and in temperate warm areas of the Atlantic (western Atlantic off the coast of South Carolina, Bermuda, eastern side, Madeira, etc.)
  • IUCN Status :

    Vulnerable species

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Find out more about the giant manta ray

It can be recognised by the two cephalic outgrowths on either side of its mouth.

Despite being harmless to humans, this huge and elegant ray features in many legends, in which it drags boats down into the deep. In reality, it is very sociable with divers.

The manta ray is ovoviviparous, which means that eggs hatch inside the female’s body. The young are already independent when they come out of the mother’s belly. Mothers generally give birth to one baby at a time.

These rays can jump out of the water and it is sometimes when this happens that they give birth to their young.





Credits for banner photo : © Digital Vision
Credits for thumbnail photo : © Digital Vision

Activities AT NAUSICAÁ


Every day, there are events focused on Nausicaa’s main species. With training and feeding sessions and talks on life in Europe’s largest aquarium, your visit will be a rich and entertaining experience!
Learn about the life of fishes, hear some surprising stories and enjoy the antics of some amazing animals.

Meet our 58 000 animals