Eagle Rays for Eagle Divers!
5 fun facts about Eagle Rays
It’s hard to describe the feeling you get during a dive when a fuzzy dark shape starts heading towards you from the blue; the heart starts beating faster and the excitement builds at the knowledge you’re potentially about to witness something a little special. When the shape transforms in to an Eagle Ray a smile instantly appears on my face. Why? Firstly I’m an Eagle Diver so have a sort of soft spot for eagle rays in general which combined with the delight of watching them elegantly soar past as I watch from a distance is hard not to smile at. The last reason, well, in all honesty anyone who has had a close up view of an eagle ray will probably admit they’re kinda funny looking creatures, body of a ray with the face resembling an eagle or beak of a duck?!
It’s not uncommon to spot Eagle Ray whilst diving in the Red Sea, in fact there was a week in June 2014 where we had at least one ray on each dive, three dives a day!…..So I went on a little fact finding mission to learn more about the beautiful Eagle Ray and have collected 5 fun facts to share with you so you can appreciate your next encounter with them even more.
Fact 1 – The spotted Eagle Ray can grow up to 5m in length including their tail, which can actually make up ¾ of their entire length!.....does that mean if I gel my hair up so it stands straight I can claim to be 5.8ft instead of 5.3ft ? ;-)
Fact 2 – The duck beak shaped snout of the ray is perfect for shuffling through the sand whilst feeding hunting for food such as clams, oysters, snails, worms, shrimp, octopus, squid, sea urchins and bony fishes.
Fact 3 - The spotted eagle ray gives birth after a 12 month gestation period to a litter of from one to four pups……and the mating process, well this, this can last between 30-90 seconds!
Fact 4 – Sharks eat Eagle Rays!....so where there are Eagle Rays there’s also a chance to see sharks, just not eating them hopefully.
Fact 5 – Eagle Rays can ‘jump’ completely out of the water and soar through the air when being chased……….2014 liveaboard guests may remember exactly this happening whilst we were moored at Gordon Reef in Tiran, and also Lesley’s shriek of delight at witnessing this spectacle.
Did you know? Summertime in Sharm is the best time of year for Eagle Ray spotting so check out our special diving packages to make your Red Sea diving dream a reality!