Not just a
huge collection of
Elasmodiver.com contains images of sharks, skates, rays, and a few
chimaera's from around the world. Elasmodiver began as a simple web
to help divers find the best places to encounter the different
species of sharks and rays that live in shallow water but it has
slowly evolved into a much larger project containing information on
all aspects of shark diving and shark photography.
now more than 10,000 shark pictures and sections on shark
evolution, biology, and conservation. There is a large library of
reviewed shark books, a constantly updated shark taxonomy page, a
monster list of shark links, and deeper in the site there are
numerous articles and stories about shark encounters. Elasmodiver is
now so difficult to check for updates, that new information and
pictures are listed on an Elasmodiver Updates Page that can be
Pectoral fins narrow and rounded. Subrostral lobe (beak) short and rounded.
Dorsum uniformly brown without markings. Trailing edges of pectoral and pelvic
fins dusky. Ventrum pale. One or more spines on tail behind single small rounded
span to 150cm.
Shallow bays and estuaries,
reef faces, and over sand flats (where it feeds). To 300m depth.
Abundance and distribution:
A common species. Occurs from the southern North Sea to South Africa including
Feeds on clams, snails, crabs, worms, sea squirts, and small bony fishes.
Excavates it's prey from under the sand by flapping its powerful pectoral fins.
The male Common Eagle Ray possesses large tubercles (modified skin denticles)
that they may use to help them lock onto the female while mating.
Photographs: Los Gigantes, Tenerife,
Canary Islands, Eastern Atlantic Ocean.
There are a number of other eagle / bull / bat rays some of which are very
difficult to tell apart. The best reference is geographic location.
Reaction to divers:
Quite timid and difficult to approach except at feeds where the individual rays
have been habituated to divers. See Below.
Diving logistics: A great place
to see and photograph common eagle rays is on one of the organized ray feeds at
Los Gigantes in the Canary Islands. Los Gigantes Diving offers freestyle feeds
once or twice per week. The divemaster takes a huge barrel of fish scraps to
60ft and offers them to the eagerly gathering ray species. After a while the
human participants usually help themselves to some fish and wander off to
interact with the rays on their own. The feed can be rather chaotic but the ray
action is almost guaranteed. Other than numerous Common Eagle Rays, the
attending species include common stingrays, roughtail rays, round stingrays and
occasionally angel sharks, butterfly rays, and marbled torpedo rays.
Very occasionally a large Bull Ray swims by.
Reef Sharks and Rays of the World. Scott W. Michael. Sea Challengers.
and Rays - Elasmobranch Guide of the World. Ralf M. Hennemann. IKAN.