Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wildlife Photo (Ocean) Manta Ray (Manta birostris)


My shootin' partner, Doc was the wildlife spotter extraordinaire on yesterday's shoot. Usually, I'm the guy who spots or sniffs out the critters first. Not on our most recent excursion, though, Doc was sharper than Daniel Boone. Maybe it's from being cooped up in his house too long.

He spotted the first bird, a Grey Heron, which you won't get to see here, today. Then, a few minutes later he hollered out something that sounded like "Holy carp, look!  It's a Mantra"!

Well, at first, I thought he was babbling about some kinda Hindu stuff.  Like, it was lunchtime or something and he was trying to drop a subtle hint to get me to quit shooting birds.  But, when I looked over at him, he wasn't pointing at his watch.  He was pointing at this humongous black thing swimming just over the seawall from us.  There it was, a Manta in the wild, swimming away.

Now, scuba divers and snorklers may see these all the time but, I've never seen one before in my life. Doc, he's seen them in an aquarium but, never in the wild.  So, now I'm researching because I really don't know much about these critters. If I'd have spotted it first I probably would've yelled:

"SHARK EVERYBODY GET OUTA THE OCEAN IT'S MORE DANGEROUS THAN AUSTRALIA HERE TODAY.  WE COULD ALL BE EATEN ALIVE.  HEAD FOR HIGH GROUND AND RUN INTO THE CAVES.  THIS SHARK HAS WINGS.  IT MAY FLY" !

So far, though I've learned these Manta Rays aren't all that dangerous. They even have some in the aquarium up where Doc lives, in Motobu Okinawa. The first two born in captivity were born there. They call the little ones "Pups".  And Scientists watch the big ones mate.  What's wrong with these people?  Maybe they don't have the internet hooked-up there yet, ya think?

If you want to learn more about Manta Rays (Manta birostris) check with Wikipedia and the Encylopedia Britannica. That's what I do. Don't trust just anybody with a blog because they copy and paste the stuff from the experts and just make believe they're smarter than the rest of us.

Then, if you like what you see give them guys some money, $20 or something.  They're asking for donations and I'd rather see you give your cash to somebody who knows how to spend it on stuff that's important, like wildlife.  At least, they ask you for a donation to help a good cause.

It isn't like they're Prime Ministers, Presidents, Dictators or Emperors who just take your money and spend it on whatever they feel like.  Call it your "mantra" if you like.  That comes from my research, too.  Hindu and Buddhist folks have mantras that are some kinda spiritual things to make the world a better place.  Maybe we should leave all the wildlife Mantas in the ocean alone and get some mantras in our hearts and heads.  I know the world could be a better place if we all gave it a chance.

HAPPY NEW YEAR !



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