Featured Image Credit: Resorts World Sentosa
By: Kira Krall
S.E.A. Aquarium in Singapore made history when it successfully introduced its ornate eagle ray to its collection. The male batoid arrived in August from Cairns Marine in Australia and adjusted very well to its new home. It’s the first of its kind in any zoo or aquarium in the world and is rare to find in the wild.
Unlike its famous cousin the spotted eagle ray, the ornate eagle ray doesn’t have a spine near its tail, which makes it a very agreeable tankmate. Its native Indo-Pacific habitats include coral reefs, so the Shipwreck exhibit with lots of places to hide and explore is a great fit for the new addition!
Unfortunately, this cartilaginous fish shares the same peril as its relatives. It’s collected for its meat and cartilage. The former has been proposed as a treatment for everything from arthritis to cancer, but there’s very little scientific evidence that supports taking cartilage supplements as a treatment. Ray meat is eaten on its own and as an addition to the controversial shark fin soup. Just like many members of the Chondrichthyes class, the ornate eagle ray is endangered because of natural history factors like low fecundity that make them more vulnerable to fishery pressure.
The aquarium hopes to partner with other facilities to create an ornate eagle ray breeding program to reduce the impact humans have on their populations. Visitors can see the new addition in the Shipwreck Habitat alongside sea turtles, shark rays, and hundreds of fish species. Read more from our source here and go to this website to learn more about the Shipwreck Habitat and the S.E.A Aquarium.