An exciting birth, not of the human kind, but exciting none the less.
A giant manta ray has been the first to be born in captivity -and has brought a nation to a standstill as it was born live on television.
Video footage below shows the 6ft baby being squeezed out of her mother’s body rolled up like a carpet, before unfurling her fins and flitting gracefully across the tank at the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Japan’s southernmost prefecture.
“My heart was heavy at first because I thought it had been still-born, but we were so relieved when she finally started swimming around,” the aquarium’s manta ray breeder, Minoru Toda, said in a telephone interview.
The birth on Saturday followed a pregnancy of more than a year after the 4.2 metre mother ray mated with a male manta also kept at the aquarium.
Aquarium workers will have to rely on intuition when feeding and caring for the new baby, because scientific knowledge about their development is limited, Toda said.
Watch the video below:
Incase you thought you read it wrong – you didn’t. The baby was 6ft. long. Mature Manta Rays normally measure 12 ft from tip to tip and live 25 years. Very few newborn Mantas have been reported and almost nothing is known about where they are born. That’s what makes this birth in capitivity so special.