All About Florida Keys Fishing & Key West Fishing





    COWNOSE RAY
    Rhinoptera bonasus



    Identification
    Disc brown to olive, with no spots or markings.  Pectoral fins ("wings") long and pointed.  
    Snout projecting, squarish, with an indentation at center (almost bi-lobed).  Two small
    cephalic fins (rostra) protruding from front of head.  Mouth small, sub-terminal.  Tail whip-
    like with spine at base just posterior to a small dorsal fin.

    Habitat
    A pelagic species found in bays, estuaries, river mouths, and open ocean.

    Feeding
    Diet consists mainly of bivalve mollusks, crustaceans, and various other benthic
    invertebrates (i.e. clams, oysters, shrimp, marine worms).

    Reproduction
    Aplacental viviparity.  Normally just one pup per litter.

    Size/Age
    Wingspan up to 3 feet.

    Human Factors
    Forms large schools containing 100s or 1,000s of individuals. Migrates seasonally in the
    Gulf of Mexico and along the U.S. Atlantic coast.  Present in some estuaries year-round.
    Non-aggressive species of little danger to humans with the exception of their defensive
    venomous barb located near the base of the tail.  Avoid handling or exercise extreme
    caution.








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