A smiling cownose ray born for the first time in Moskvarium at VDNKh

July 4
Parks and pedestrian areas

In the Moskvarium American cownose ray - was born for the first time at VDNKh. The outstanding characteristic of these sea animals is a wide mouth, resembling a smile in its shape.

The newborn cow-nosed ray is a male, its weight is about 500 grams, and its size is 35 centimeters in diameter (excluding the tail). Cownose rays are born completely independent and can immediately do without parental care. Now the little ray is in a separate aquarium. Ichthyologists regularly examine it, measure and weigh it. The young gradually adapts to the living conditions, studies the surrounding space and other small rays that live with it. The specialists of Moskvarium prepare a nutritious food for him from shrimp, mussels and finely chopped squid. The newborn has a good appetite - it eats two or three times a day, grows quickly and will soon be able to move to a large aquarium with adult cownose rays.

"The ray young is the first baby in the cownose rays family, who appeared almost in six years of the Moskvarium's work at VDNKh. After the newborn baby passes the necessary adaptation in a special pool, he will definitely return to his relatives. We plan to move it to the aquarium in the exhibition in July," Irina Meinzer, Head of the Biological Service of the center, said.

In the meantime, the little ray can be seen online. On Wednesday, June 30, at 10: 00 on the YouTube channel and on the official pages of the aquarium in social networks, the premiere of a video will take place, in which specialists will introduce their new resident and open a vote on choosing a name for him.

Everyone can offer variants in the comments to the publication about the birth of a ray on Instagram from June 30 to July 7. Three variants will be chosen from the proposed names for the final vote, which will be held on the same page on July 8. The authors of the three best of them will receive tickets to the aquarium, and the winner will be presented with a large toy ray from the Moskvarium online store along with the tickets.

Cownose rays have been living in the aquarium at VDNKh since its opening in 2015. They can be seen at the start of the exhibition, in the spacious marine aquarium No. 1 (Migratory Rays). There are 15 representatives of this species at once: eight females and seven males. All of them have reached the age of puberty - they are from five to ten years old.

American cownose rays (Rhinoptera bonasus) are cartilaginous fishes of stingrays order. Their name is associated with the shape of the head, which is similar to the muzzle of a calf with small horns. Under these outgrowths, a forked fin hides, with which the rays direct the prey into their mouths. Very sharp teeth in seven rows allow them to easily crush the shells of shellfish - they eat only the pulp, and spit out the remains. The shape of their tail resembles a whip with sharp poisonous needles (spikes). They live in the tropical and warm temperate waters of the western part of Atlantic Ocean. The largest cownose ray observed in nature reached 213 centimeters in width.

Smiling rays are not aggressive and do not pose a danger to people. If a marine predator approaches, they sharply beat their tail, piercing a needle with poison into its body, and sometimes use sharp teeth. In humans, their poison can cause short-term pain, resembling a sting of wasps or bees. American cownose rays are not specially caught, but they often fall into the seines of fishermen. In nature, their level of reproduction is quite low, so it is important to create conditions for the study and reproduction of this unique species.

In the Moskvarium, these rays live in neighborhood with schooling pompano and snapper fish, arotrons, as well as reef sharks, including a recently born baby of white tip shark. In total, there are more than 30 different types of rays in the exhibition. Among them are the guitar-fishes, bull-tailed stingray, Kuhl's stingray, giant himantura, blue-spotted ribbontail ray, a unique shark ray listed in the International Red Book, as well as freshwater rays motoro and leopoldi, which live in the Amazon region.

Source: mos.ru

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