A photo a day from Oriental, NC, the surrounding Pamlico County area, and nearby rivers, creeks, bays and other waterways of coastal North Carolina.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

6.3- Cownose Ray

I think this is a Cownose or Bullnose Ray. I noticed it splashing/swimming/hunting in the Neuse River between ten and thirty feet off the South Avenue waterfront.

Some people have told me that when you see the double fins cutting along the top of the water (actually the tips of the 'wings') that it is a Skate. I don't think so, though, because Skates are bottom-dwellers, and the Rays swim, hunt and even jump above the water according to my internet research. The bit of the head that is visible in this picture and the coloring of the creature also point to a Cownose or a Bullnose Ray.

This one did a bit of splashing at the surface while I was watching. I have seen these creatures just under the surface while sailing or walking along the Neuse, but this is the first time I've seen one splashing and moving with both wings sticking out of the water. You can't see it in the pictures, but this creature was cruising around a large school of small fish, and I saw a number of them jumping out of the water around this Ray.


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