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Captive-born eagle rays – less than 10 to be reared and born captive

This is indeed a reason to celebrate when an endangered or near-endangered species that animal care professionals take care of gives birth. Not only does it allow visitors to these institutions to see a beautiful creature in their youth, but it also helps the species grow.

In January, visitors to the Smoky Aquarium in Ritley in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, enjoy a rare sight of two young male spotted eagle puppies swimming among hundreds of Indo-Pacific reef fish in coral reef exposure. Born in September 2008, healthy siblings are under 10 to be captive or bred anywhere in the world.

When born, each weighed less than three pounds and was less than 16 inches. Adult spotted eagle rays (Aetobatis narinari) can grow up to 10 feet wide on a disk and weigh up to 500 pounds. Although considered one of the most graceful viewing rays, they are not as common as other types of rays in public aquariums. In fact, only 15 aquariums in the world exhibit creatures.

The two male puppies are the first puppy born by one of the two women at the Ray Bay Exposition at the Aquarium on September 27, 2008. After birth, the puppies were immediately moved from the exhibit to the marine science building in the aquarium. taken care of by marine biologists, making sure they stay healthy and eat well. The rays were trained to feed from divers' hands to ensure that they were eating enough and that they would be prepared for their new environment, where they would have to compete for food with hundreds of Indo-Pacific coral reefs.

On December 9, the youngsters were introduced to their new environment, the Coral Reef exhibit and quickly became popular with aquarium guests. Visitors line up to watch them interact with divers as they are fed several times a day.

"While other types of rays and small sharks that appear along with eagle rays are regularly reproduced, this is quite remarkable to us," says Frank Bullman, director of livestock at the Ripley Smokehouse. He notes that the observed eagle rays in Ray Bay's exposure were part of an ongoing research project involving monthly ultrasonographic examinations to monitor their pregnancy. "They may have been pregnant in the past, but we were never aware of this. After learning that they had used sonograms, we were able to monitor them and provide them with special care. Regular monthly sonograms are now being made to keep an eye on future ones. pregnancy. "

Widely regarded as one of the most beautiful rays, the speckled eagle ray is found worldwide in tropical and warm temperate waters. He has been cited as "almost endangered" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a global union of states, government agencies and non-governmental organizations in partnership that assesses the status of species conservation. Near endangered means that the species is close to qualification or likely to qualify for the endangered category in the near future.

The spotted adult eagle beam has striking spots on the upper side that can easily be seen against its dark body. Its underside is white. The beam has a long, flat and somewhat rounded muzzle, a tight head, sharp angles and a number of flat, V-shaped teeth. Each has a long whip-like tail, with a long poisonous spine near the base, behind the small dorsal fin.

Spotted eagles are usually observed in the bays and around coral reefs and spend most of their time swimming in schools while in open, warm waters. Unfortunately, these little boys will go through public life without a name. It seems that professional careers do not come into this name. Asked by their names,

Bullman simply noted, "We don't usually call our animals. Their accession numbers are GB-AN-08-01-M and GB-AN-08-02-M."

So, congratulate my beloved, GB-AN-08-01-M when you visit!