Endangered Ray Species Welcomed to Bristol Aquarium
Two juvenile undulate rays (Raja undulata) have taken residence in Bristol Aquarium’s nursery tank to raise awareness of endangered species to visitors.
The undulate rays have been given ‘endangered’ status by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) meaning they are at very high risk of extinction in the wild.
These small, juvenile rays that came from a neighbouring Aquarium can grow to be around 3ft from nose to tail. They inherited their name from their undulating motion used to swim.
Simon Hubbard, Education Executive at Bristol Aquarium said: “As a site for conservation and education, ensuring we display endangered species at the Aquarium is extremely important.
“Not only are these rays beautiful, with their distinct bands of colours, they are also key to teach our visitors all about the species living here in the UK waters.” He added.
The undulate ray is considered endangered due to over-fishing. Like many shark, ray and skate species, they are slow growing, living up to around 20 years and have relatively low reproduction rates.
The undulate ray is found in the Atlantic Ocean, south of the UK and throughout much of the Mediterranean. It prefers shallow waters among the mud or sand and has distinct coloured bands to help camouflage in its surroundings.
DID YOU KNOW: The undulate rays have 40-50 rows of teeth in their upper jaw, some are wedged whilst others are pointed, all helping the ray to digest its favourite dish – crustaceans!
Bristol Aquarium is home to both native and tropical animals from waters across the world. Located by Bristol’s iconic Harbourisde, the attraction welcomes visitors to take an underwater adventure to learn all about life beneath the waves!