Last night we were watching an alligator splashing around in the salt marsh at low tide scooping up fish that were getting all stirred up.
Suddenly another alligator appeared heading toward the exact area where the first one was fishing. We also quickly realized that the new arrival was dragging something quite large along in it’s mouth.
Manta rays are large rays belonging to the genus Manta. The larger species, M. birostris, reaches 7m in width while the smaller, M. alfredi, reaches 5.5 m. Both have triangular pectoral fins, horn-shaped cephalic fins and large, forward-facing mouths.
Where do a huge ray live?
Distribution and habitat. Mantas are found in tropical and subtropical waters in all the world’s major oceans and also venture into temperate seas.
As it came slogging up from the mud we saw that it had what appeared to be a huge ray of some type. It did not want to risk getting into an argument with the other alligator over ownership of the prize catch, so it walked around and headed toward the edge of the marsh.
We were then very surprised to see this alligator come walking up out of the marsh still clutching it’s catch. It headed right across a paved path likely on it’s way to the swamp where we suspect the captured ray will be stashed for further feeding opportunities. Many viewers commented on the photos.
“That was the first time I ever saw an alligator with anything like this huge ray. He put on a heck of a show.
I also have pics of him slogging past a wood stork with his catch.”
” Not sure yet if these have spread all over like last time. Yeah he had his mouth full and was not going to let go of his prize catch.”
“I do get quite close but the thing about these alligators is that they are not normally very aggressive. I try to maintain a respectful distance and keep my eyes open for any sudden or unusual actions.
As far as watching my back that is a good observation even more then you know. I had one come crawling up out of the swamp behind me and I never knew it, it never made a sound”
Images by Phill Anoue