Rays

Rays may not look like fish but they belong to a class of fish with cartilage. They have wide flat bodies, big side fins attached to their heads and gills on their undersides. They are related to shark. They are shark cousins. They have cartilage and not bones. Their eyes are on top of their heads.

Most of the rays live on the seabed of the tropical, subtropical and temperate waters. They can be found in coastal waters. Some of them live in very deep waters to at least 3,000 metres. Only a few species, like manta rays live in the open sea and only a few live in freshwater.

They breathe by taking water in through the small hole behind each eyes and passing it out through the gills. They have strong , rounded teeth for crushing the shells of their prey. For example, snails, clams, oysters, crustaceans and some fish. Manta rays eat plankton. Some baby rays develop inside their mother. So when they are born, they look like a little adult. But others are hatched from eggs.

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