A new study has revealed that Chilean devil rays dive deep into oceans and are not surface dwellers. Scientists announced on Tuesday that new data collected in the mid-Atlantic proves that the oceanic creatures have been misinterpreted for years as surface animals when in fact they are one of the world’s deepest divers.
Using 15 Chilean devil rays from the mid-Atlantic ocean, researchers used data recorders to track the movements of the rays for nine months. What they found is that the kite-shaped fish do not only dwell on the surface, but they also dive into extreme depths of the ocean. According to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts researcher and leader of the study Simon Thorrold, the rays went to depths up to 6,162 feet and in water temperatures of a freezing 38.5 degrees Fahrenheit:
“M. tarapacana is among the deepest diving ocean animals.”
Published in the journal Nature Communications, the study also found that the devil rays can travel extreme lengths of up to 30 miles a day. According to researchers, the rays are able to dive into such great depths due to their body heat and speed. The rays bask in the sun to retain heat and then dive as fast as 13mph into the ocean.
More studies will be done on this particular species of ray as they are considered endangered.
New Study Reveals Chilean Devil Ray’s Dive Deep Into Oceans.