Big Island Snorkling Tours Blog

What Are Some Differences Between The Manta Ray And The Sting Ray

Manta Ray filter feeder

There’s quite a bit of confusion between Manta Rays and Sting Rays.  American Oceans clarifies some of the differences between the two.

First, both Manta Rays and Sting Rays are in the shark family, and they’re Rays.  They both have cartilage instead of bones and they give birth to live animals.

Manta Rays are larger than the Sting Ray.  Manta’s can reach up to 23 feet in width while the largest Sting Ray can be 7.2 feet in width.  Manta Ray’s live in the open ocean whereas the Sting Ray’s hang at the bottom of the ocean floor.  Manta Ray’s are known to swim around and can look like big birds in the water.  They also can breach the surface of the water, but it isn’t known at this time the reason for that.

Importantly for those who want to get in the water with them, Manta Rays are gentle creatures and they don’t have the barbs that Sting Rays have as a defense mechanism.

Manta Rays are gentle, graceful, creatures that are harmless to humans.  They’re also considered very intelligent and like the bottlenose dolphin and the elephant they can recognize themselves in a mirror.

Sea Paradise has 38 years’ experience in providing great water activities for visitors to Hawaii in the beautiful turquoise waters of the Kona Coast. Join our excellent crew on the Hoku Nui for an amazing experience floating above these majestic Manta Rays while they perform their ballet and dine on the plankton.  This is truly a joyful experience!


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