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Deep Diving Devil Rays Solve Mystery

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Source: BBC News  Image:  David Jones

Devil RaysA new study shows that devil rays plunge nearly 2km below the ocean surface, making some of the deepest and fastest dives ever observed in the sea.  Scientists tracked 15 of the large, winged fish, previously thought to be surface dwellers, for several months.  In between their icy dives, they appear to bask near the surface to warm up.

The findings, published in Nature Communications, offer an explanation for a mysterious mass of blood vessels, thought to keep the ray’s brain warm.  The front part of the animal’s skull is stuffed with a sponge-like mesh of large and small arteries. This network, called a rete mirabile, was described in the devil rays 30 years ago.  The Mobula ray family, which includes these “flying” bentfin rays, were all thought to live near the surface Read More