We love our flattened sharks (if you’re new to Sarasota Fins, we mean rays). This week’s animal is a flattened pancake shark (also known as the majestic flap=flap) that you know as the bullnose ray or Myliobatis freminvillii.
These rays were first described in 1824 (man that is old)! Their genus name, Myliobatis, is Greek from “mylo” and “batis-idos” meaning “mill” and “ray.”
Anyways, moving on, before I break into humming the theme song. (Spoiler alert: Too late)
They have a long, whip-like tail and lacks a caudal fin. If you’re too busy keeping an eye on their tail, though, you may miss the fact that their teeth are green. “What?!” Yup!
(Derailment: First time I was introduced to my kid brother, I had just finished one of those powder-stick candies and my teeth were green. Pretty sure that’s why my brother cried whenever I got anywhere near him for the years to follow…)
As for its other biological functions, they are ovoviviparous and can produce four to eight embryos. Gotta watch out, though, cause marine mammals and large fish (like, yeah, sharks) would looove to nom, nom, nom on some ray snacky-poo. Not to mention, these rays have another predator to worry about: leeches!
The IUCN has not listed these animals as endangered or vulnerable, though. So, no big worries, the leeches aren't wiping them out.
(P.S.: Don't confuse them with the bull ray, Pteromylaeus bovinus)
Ever seen the bullnose ray? Share your pictures!