Did you know that stingrays give birth to live young and not eggs as most people expect of a fish?
Stingrays, like Two Oceans Aquarium' eagle ray below, are "ovoviviparous" - this means that the mother keeps the eggs inside her body after they hatch, feeding the pups fluids and egg yolks to help them grow.
Because of the lifestyle these rays live, pups need to be competent swimmers almost immediately when they are born - there is no time for a baby to learn or grow before needing to survive in the wild. So, after a few short minutes of disorientation, while they figure out which way is up, and how their muscles work, the baby rays can swim, move and survive just like their adult mother! No parental care needed!
One of the eagle rays in Two Oceans I&J Ocean Exhibit was taken to the privacy of the isolation pool to give birth to four healthy pups! This incredible footage was provided by Curator of Animal Health, Nicholas Nicolle.
This mother eagle ray gave birth to four little pups - you can visit them in the ray pool in the Diversity Gallery at the Two Oceans Aquarium, and you can visit their mother in the I&J Ocean Exhibit! These rays will be spending some time there acting as animal ambassadors for this incredible Critically Endangered species, before being released into the wild. Until then, grow well pups!