Phenomena

Leaping Mobulas

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Mobula rays engage in some pretty incredible aerial acrobatics. This species of ray, second only to manta rays in size, can jump up to 2 meters into the air. Large groups of mobula rays will engage in this behavior, including both males and females, but it remains unclear to scientists exactly what purpose the jumping serves. It may be a form of communication, which might explain the rays’ apparent preference for belly flopping. By striking the water surface with as much of their body as possible simultaneously, the rays generate both a large splash and a concussive clap that carries through the water. (Video credit: BBC; via J. Hertzberg)

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