It’s called the mobula ray, or the Mobula Munkiana to be exact. It’s a small ray, not more than 3.6 feet long. It’s favorite thing to do in the water? Jump out and fly!
They usually stay clustered together, and are often seen leaping out of the water. When they leap, their fins flap and it looks like they are actually flying! The purpose for their flapping? Nobody really knows. Some theories are presented here, such as it being a scare tactic or a technique to impress mates, but no consensus exists on the real reason.
Unfortunately, their nature of staying together leads to them becoming fewer and fewer. They are easy targets for fishing when they cluster like this, not to mention surface out of the water.
Joshua Stewart is from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego and has studied these creatures. He says the following about their population impact: “Huge numbers of these animals are moving through relatively constricted geographic areas and just a few large catches could have dramatic negative impacts on their populations.”
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