Both the 160-pound mom and 5-pound baby are being cared for backstage at The Seas, but mom will be back in guest view in the 5.7 million gallon saltwater main aquarium within the next few weeks and baby will follow soon after.
The pup passed her baby wellness exam with flying colors. Now, the team is monitoring her growth and training her to come to a target for feeding—her food includes clams, mussels, shrimp, squid and a special vitamin supplement.
The Seas animal care team reports that this is second time that this mom has given birth. They are thrilled because the spotted eagle ray is a challenging animal to breed and the breeding program at The Seas is contributing to knowledge of this species’ life history to help protect them in the wild. Eagle rays, which are found worldwide in subtropical and temperate seas, are a protected species in Florida.
Spotted Eagle Ray Fun Facts:
- Spotted eagle rays, which can have an eight-foot wingspan, are known to “fly” out of the water.
- Their spots can be used to identify individual animals.
- Plates in their mouths are modified teeth, which they use to eat shellfish.
Wildlife Wednesdays: See “Spot” Swim at The Seas with Nemo & Friends by Jackie Ogden, Ph.D.: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog