Eagle Ray – An Extraordinary Sea Creature

Eagle ray is the most outstanding type of the cartilaginous fish in the world. When compared to other members of the same family, these species are contrastingly tranquil creatures.  It is easily recognized by its coloration. It is usually black or bluish, with a lot of small and white spots. To feed it probes the sand with its snout to locate food items (clams, oysters, snails, worms, shrimp, octopus, squid, sea urchins and bony fishes).

Genus: Aetobatus
Depth: 1 to 80m

Diet: carnivore
Size: 5 meters in length; wingspan of up to 3 meters; 230 kilograms  

Eagle Ray – Where to find them?

This large ray is distributed throughout the tropical zones of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. It migrates seasonally outside these areas with the summertime warming of the waters. Large shoals, sometimes numbering hundreds of specimens have been seen . If you decide to come to Bacuit Bay, the sunrise dives are the best way to spot sea horses. Miniloc area is the best place to see them here.

Eagle ray probing the sand

It is often seen singly or in pairs, but occasionally large groups have been reported (it can be hundreds). The eagle ray is known to breach and there are isolated accounts of leaping eagle rays having accidentally landed in boats! It is usually shy and difficult to get close to underwater. Be careful! Although they generally will not get too close to humans, they can inflict serious wounds with their tails.

Eagle Ray – Are they threatened?

Spotted eagle rays are harvested in Mexico and Cuba, mostly as food. This fishing pressure, combined with their extremely low reproductive rate -after a gestation period of one year the mother ray will give birth to a maximum of four pups- make these rays a vulnerable species. But there is not enough information to determine how much danger they are in. The distribution, migration, feeding habits, growth rates and reproductive biology of spotted eagle rays are poorly defined.

Spotted Eagle Ray – Where Are They in El Nido?

Most of Eagle Ray sighting are around Miniloc island located in the center of Bacuit Bay.

North Rock
South Miniloc
Twin Rock

Want to see more? Check our links:

The PADI Open Water course
The PADI Advanced Open Water course
Fun Dives in El Nido
What you will see?
How to get to El Nido