Georgia Aquarium remains the only aquarium in the United States to exhibit manta rays. Our field work in Mexico and Florida has led to some amazing discoveries. We conduct field operations based at Georgia Aquarium’s Conservation Field Station to study how populations of manta rays are moving along the Atlantic Coast. Aerial and boat surveys and satellite tagging are used to understand how and where the animals use the waters of northern Florida.
In Mexico, manta rays have begun to appear in increasing numbers in the same location where the large aggregation of whale sharks show up every summer to feed (see our whale shark section for more details). This has presented Georgia Aquarium with the unique opportunity of studying two of our key species together during our field efforts. Researchers have attached satellite tags to mantas to track migration, observed and counted their numbers from the sky in aerial surveys, and photographed their distinct skin patterns all in an effort to understand more about this graceful giant.