Manta rays are large eagle rays belonging to the genus Manta. The larger
species, M. birostris, reaches 7 m (23 ft) in width while the smaller,
M. alfredi (pictured), reaches 5.5 m (18 ft). Both have triangular
pectoral fins, horn-shaped cephalic fins and large, forward-facing
mouths. Mantas can be found in temperate, subtropical and tropical
waters. M. birostris migrates across open oceans, singly or in groups,
while M. alfredi tends to be resident and coastal. They are filter
feeders and eat large quantities of zooplankton, which they swallow with
their open mouths as they swim. Gestation lasts over a year, producing
live pups. Mantas may visit cleaning stations for the removal of
parasites. Like whales, they breach, for unknown reasons. Both species
are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of
Nature. Threats include pollution, entanglement in fishing nets, and
direct harvesting for their gill rakers for use in Chinese medicine, and
their slow reproductive rate exacerbates these threats. Only a few
aquariums are large enough to house them. In general, these large fish
are seldom seen and difficult to study.
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manta_ray>
Today's selected anniversaries:
Byzantine–Ottoman Wars: The Ottoman sultanate scored its
first major victory against the Byzantine Empire in the Battle of
Bapheus in Bithynia.
The U.S. State Department, then known as the Department of
Foreign Affairs, became the first federal agency created under the U.S.
The National Convention ordered the arrest and execution of
Reign of Terror leader Maximilien Robespierre after he encouraged the
execution of more than 17,000 "enemies of the French Revolution".
Felix Manalo established the modern-day Iglesia ni Cristo
religion, an independent, nontrinitarian Christian church, in the
Philippines (Iglesia ni Cristo Central Temple pictured).
Bugs Bunny debuted in the animated cartoon A Wild Hare.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. (transitive) To serve as a warning or omen.
2. (transitive) To signify; to denote.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
￼ Triumphal arch, that fill'st the sky When storms prepare
to part, I ask not proud Philosophy To teach me what thou art. — Still
seem, as to my childhood's sight, A midway station given, For happy
spirits to alight, Betwixt the earth and heaven.
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