Cownose Ray
Cownose ray
Rhinoptera bonasus

(Mitchill, 1815)

Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Chondrichthyes
Order Myliobatiformes
Family Myliobatidae
Genus Rhinoptera
Species • R. bonasus
Conservation Status
(IUCN 3.1)
Near Threatened
The Cownose Ray (Rhinoptera bonasus) is a close relative of the Spotted Eagle Ray. They are a friendly ray, and unlike most other rays it spends its time free swimming in coastal areas in large schools. They are found along the southern eastern seaboard of the USA, and are most common in the Gulf of Mexico. As its name suggests, its head is in the shape of a cow's nose.

Feeding Habits Edit

The rays feed on mollusks such as clams and oysters (as well as small fish in captivity). They use suction with two modified fins on its front side to suck in the food, where the ray will crush the food with its special dental plates. The rays travel in large groups, where they can use their "wings" to stir up sediment and find food.

In Aquariums Edit

Cownose Rays are very popular in public aquariums, being used as an animal for petting in the Florida Aquarium, New England Aquarium, Georgia Aquarium, SeaWorld, and much more places. This is due to their active nature and friendly behavior. They are not very aggressive and rarely use their stingers. In some areas like SeaWorld Orlando, you can even feed the rays in their tanks.

Marine Marine HabitatsAquariumsGlobal OceansOcean Weather
Vertebrate FishesMammalsReptilesAmphibiansCartilaginous FishesSharks
Invertebrate ArthropodMolluscaEchinodermsCnidaria
Conservation Status Critically EndangeredEndangeredNear ThreatenedVulnerableLeast ConcernData DeficientNot Evaluated