Mantas Diving

Divers, who have already had the pleasure of diving with mantas, know the difficulty and hazards as well as the joy of this diving theme. Any diver’s imagination is captivated by the graceful movements of the Manta and thus Manta diving has become a very popular dive inclusion when diving the blue waters of the world.
The Rays` behavioral model in waters is very charming and majestic, it never fails to capture every divers imagination when these Devil Rays glide gracefully past with effortless ease and  grace.

However, before diving with mantas we must be prepared to learn some more information on these magnificent and mysterious fish.

Mantas are strict pelagic dwellers; they are able to cross the Worlds Oceans and indeed you can often find one or more types of sucker fishes on their skins. These free riders do no harm to the host and in fact act as a cleansing agent cleaning small parasites.

The Manta ray is the biggest in size of all the rays types. They can grow up 7 meters in length and 1, 400 kg in weight. Their name is derived from a Spanish word “manta” which means blanket. This name is given in accordance with the shape of their body, being flat and wide in appearance.

Another name given to these creatures is that of the devil ray with their pectoral wings, rectangular mouth and a tail all conjuring up visions of creatures from Orpheus’s underworld.

A Mantas colouring differs from black, grey, blue to even red- brown and yellow. The upper colour of their bodies is usually white. Surrounding waters and regional aspects influence a mantas colouring.

It is rather easy to distinguish the adult of the species from that of the juveniles simply by size and at a juveniles mouth is located underneath the head like that of a shark. Juveniles have fun jumping out of waters; they can perform two or more of these leaps, before running out of steam. An adult manta rays can develop a fairly high turn of speed. By the way, the jumping and splashing against the waters can help to rub off unwanted parasites or remoras. Also rays can sit with reefs that act as cleaning stations so as to get rid off the scroungers.

Often when the Mantas see some bubbles from divers or any other suspicious sounds and movements in waters they usually become anxious, swim away and dive deep to the bottom of the ocean.

If you enter their waters very carefully, most mantas will increase their interest in you. Thus you can escape any injures and let yourself review rays as close as possible, so careful slow and small clam movements are the order of the day. Let the Manta rays themselves making the decisions to approach you. Do not touch manta rays even if they are appear eager and willing for you to have a nice rub on their bellies. Mucus on their skin protects them from any marine infection and viruses. So, never rub or try against them if at all possible. As you see Manta diving is an exciting process. Video or photo taking does not bother manta rays, but best not to disturb them during cleaning, feeding and mating.

In these moments they tend to become very sensitive. In their feeding they are filter-feeders. Any fertilized eggs the female is carrying has around a 12 months gestation period before giving birth to a live juvenile. Nobody really knows how long manta rays actually live but the best guess is about 25 years. Manta rays are pretty hardy creatures with the only predator being that of the tiger shark.

More recent research is now suggestion that we should consider the manta ray for more solid world protection. The hunting of mantas is prohibited generally and can only be done under a special license. Mantas diving is however allowed but we must take care of the beautiful animals and the surrounding nature they live in..

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