Temporal range: Miocene – presentEarly
|Tiger shark range|
The tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier 5 m (16 ft 5 in). Populations are found in many tropical and temperate waters, especially around central Pacific islands. Its name derives from the dark stripes down its body, which resemble a tiger's pattern, but fade as the shark matures.) is a species of requiem shark and the only extant member of the genus Galeocerdo. It is a large macropredator, capable of attaining a length over
The tiger shark is a solitary, mostly nocturnal hunter. It is notable for having the widest food spectrum of all sharks, with a range of prey that includes crustaceans, fish, seals, birds, squid, turtles, sea snakes, dolphins, and even other smaller sharks. It also has a reputation as a "garbage eater",consuming a variety of inedible, man-made objects that linger in its stomach. Though apex predators, tiger sharks are sometimes taken as prey by groups of killer whales. It is considered a near threatened species due to finning and fishing by humans.
The tiger shark is second only to the great white in recorded fatal attacks on humans.
The shark was first described by Peron and Lesueur in 1822, and was given the name Squalus cuvier.Müller and Henle in 1837 renamed it Galeocerdo tigrinus. The genus, Galeocerdo, is derived from the Greek galeos, which means shark, and kerdo, the word for fox. It is often colloquially called the man-eater shark.
The tiger shark is a member of the order Carcharhiniformes, the most species-rich order of sharks, with more than 270 species also including the small catsharks and hammerhead sharks.Members of this order are characterized by the presence of a nictitating membrane over the eyes, two dorsal fins, an anal fin, and five gill slits. It is the largest member of the Carcharhinidae family, commonly referred to as requiem sharks. This family consists of mostly slender but powerful mid- to large-sized sharks and includes some other well-known sharks, such as the blue shark (Prionace glauca), lemon shark (Negaprion brevirostris), and bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas).
The tiger shark commonly attains a length of 3.25–4.25 m (10 ft 8 in–13 ft 11 in) and weighs around 385–635 kg (849–1,400 lb). It is dimorphic, with exceptionally large females reportedly measuring over 5 m (16 ft 5 in), and the largest males 4 m (13 ft 1 in). Weights of particularly large female tiger sharks can exceed 900 kg (2,000 lb). One pregnant female caught off Australia reportedly measured 5.5 m (18 ft 1 in) long and weighed 1,524 kg (3,360 lb). Even larger unconfirmed catches have been claimed. Some papers have accepted a record of an exceptional 7.4 m (24 ft 3 in) length for a tiger shark, but since this is far larger than any scientifically observed specimen, verification would be needed.
Among the largest extant sharks, the tiger shark ranks in average size only behind the whale shark (Rhincodon typus), the basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus), and the great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias). Some other species such as megamouth sharks (Megachasma pelagios), Pacific sleeper sharks (Somniosus pacificus), Greenland sharks (Somniosus microcephalus), and bluntnose sixgill sharks (Hexanchus griseus) broadly overlap in size with the tiger shark, but as these species are comparatively poorly studied, whether their typical mature size matches that of the tiger shark is unclear. 580 kg (1,280 lb).The great hammerhead (Sphyrna mokarran), a member of the same taxonomic order as the tiger shark, has a similar or even greater average body length, but is lighter and less bulky, with a maximum known weight of
Tiger shark teeth are unique with very sharp, pronounced serrations and an unmistakable sideways-pointing tip. Such dentition has developed to slice through flesh, bone, and other tough substances such as turtle shells. Like most sharks, its teeth are continually replaced by rows of new teeth throughout the shark's life. Relative to the shark's size, tiger shark teeth are considerably shorter than those of a great white shark, but they are nearly as broad as the root as the great white's teeth and are arguably better suited to slicing through hard-surfaced prey.
A tiger shark generally has long fins to provide lift as the shark maneuvers through water, while the long upper tail provides bursts of speed. The tiger shark normally swims using small body movements.Its high back and dorsal fin act as a pivot, allowing it to spin quickly on its axis, though the shark's dorsal fins are distinctively close to its tail.
The skin of a tiger shark can typically range from blue to light green with a white or light-yellow underbelly. The advantage of this is that when it is hunting for its prey, when prey looks at the shark from above, the shark will be camouflaged, since the water below is darker And when prey is below the shark and looks up, of course because of the sun, it is lighter so that the light underbelly will also camouflage the shark. This is known as countershading. Dark spots and stripes are most visible in young sharks and fade as the shark matures. Its head is somewhat wedge-shaped, which makes it easy to turn quickly to one side.They have small pits on the snout which hold electroreceptors called the ampullae of Lorenzini, which enable them to detect electric fields, including the weak electrical impulses generated by prey, which helps them to hunt. Tiger sharks also have a sensory organ called a lateral line which extends on their flanks down most of the length of their sides. The primary role of this structure is to detect minute vibrations in the water. These adaptations allow the tiger shark to hunt in darkness and detect hidden prey.
Sharks do not have moveable upper or lower eyelids, but the tiger shark—among other sharks—has a nictitating membrane, a clear eyelid that can cover the eye.A reflective layer behind the tiger shark's retina, called the tapetum lucidum, allows light-sensing cells a second chance to capture photons of visible light. This enhances vision in low-light conditions.
The tiger shark is often found close to the coast, mainly in tropical and subtropical waters throughout the world.Its behavior is primarily nomadic, but is guided by warmer currents, and it stays closer to the equator throughout the colder months. It tends to stay in deep waters that line reefs, but it does move into channels to pursue prey in shallower waters. In the western Pacific Ocean, the shark has been found as far north as Japan and as far south as New Zealand. It has also been recorded in the Mediterranean, once off Spain and once off Sicily.
Tiger sharks can be seen in the Gulf of Mexico, North American beaches, and parts of South America. It is also commonly observed in the Caribbean Sea. Other locations where tiger sharks are seen include off Africa, China, India, Australia, and Indonesia.
Certain tiger sharks have been recorded at depths just shy of 900 m (3,000 ft), but some sources claim they move into shallow water normally thought to be too shallow for a species of its size. A recent study showed the average tiger shark would be recorded at 350 m (1,100 ft), making tiger sharks uncommonly seen in shallow water. However, tiger sharks in Hawaii have been observed in depths as shallow as 3.05 m (10.0 ft) and regularly observed in coastal waters at depths of 6 to 12 m (20 to 40 ft).
The tiger shark is an apex predator 2.3 m (7.5 ft), or near sexual maturity, their selection expands considerably, and much larger animals become regular prey. Numerous fish, crustaceans, sea birds, sea snakes, marine mammals (e.g. bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops), common dolphins (Delphinus), spotted dolphins (Stenella), dugongs (Dugong dugon), seals and sea lions, and sea turtles (including the three largest species: the leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), the loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and the green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), ) are regularly eaten by adult tiger sharks. In fact, adult sea turtles have been found in up to 20.8% of studied tiger shark stomachs, indicating somewhat of a dietary preference for sea turtles where they are commonly encountered. They also eat other sharks (including adult sandbar sharks (Carcharhinus plumbeus)), as well as rays, and sometimes even other tiger sharks.and has a reputation for eating almost anything. These predators swim close inland to eat at night, and during the day swim out into deeper waters. Young tiger sharks are found to feed largely on small fish, as well as various small jellyfish, and mollusks including cephalopods. Around the time they attain
Due to high risk of predation, dolphins often avoid regions inhabited by tiger sharks.Injured or ailing whales may also be attacked and eaten. A group was documented killing an ailing humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) in 2006 near Hawaii. A scavenger, the tiger shark will feed on dead whales, and has been documented doing so alongside great white sharks.
Evidence of dugong predation was identified in one study that found dugong tissue in 15 of 85 tiger sharks caught off the Australian coast.Additionally, examination of adult dugongs has shown scars from failed shark attacks. To minimize attacks, dugong microhabitats shift similarly to those of known tiger shark prey when the sharks are abundant.
The broad, heavily calcified jaws and nearly terminal mouth, combined with robust, serrated teeth, enable the tiger shark to take on these large prey.In addition, excellent eyesight and acute sense of smell enable it to react to faint traces of blood and follow them to the source. The ability to pick up low-frequency pressure waves enables the shark to advance towards an animal with confidence, even in murky water. The shark circles its prey and studies it by prodding it with its snout. When attacking, the shark often eats its prey whole, although larger prey are often eaten in gradual large bites and finished over time.
Notably, terrestrial mammals, including horses (Equus ferus caballus), goats (Capra aegagrus hircus), sheep (Ovis aries), dogs (Canis lupus familiaris), cats (Felis catus), and brown rats (Rattus norvegicus), are fairly common in the stomach contents of tiger sharks around the coasts of Hawaii.In one case, remains of two flying foxes were found in the stomach of this shark. Because of its aggressive and indiscriminate feeding style, it often mistakenly eats inedible objects, such as automobile license plates, oil cans, tires, and baseballs.
Although tiger sharks are apex predators, they are often killed and taken as prey by pods of killer whales. The killer whales method of hunting tiger sharks is to drive them to the surface, then grab them mid-body and hold them upside down to induce tonic immobility which drowns the shark. The killer whales then bite off the sharks fins then disembowel and devour them midwater.
All tiger sharks generally swim slowly, which, combined with cryptic coloration, may make them difficult for prey to detect in some habitats. They are especially well camouflaged against dark backgrounds.Despite their sluggish appearance, tiger sharks are one of the strongest swimmers of the carcharhinid sharks. Once the shark has come close, a speed burst allows it to reach the intended prey before it can escape.
Males reach sexual maturity at 2.3 to 2.9 m (7.5 to 9.5 ft) and females at 2.5 to 3.5 m (8.2 to 11.5 ft). Typical weight of relatively young sexually mature specimens, which often locally comprise the majority of tiger sharks encountered per game-fishing and scientific studies, is around 80 to 130 kg (180 to 290 lb). Females mate once every three years. They breed by internal fertilization. The male inserts one of his claspers into the female's genital opening (cloaca), acting as a guide for the sperm. The male uses his teeth to hold the female still during the procedure, often causing the female considerable discomfort. Mating in the Northern Hemisphere generally takes place between March and May, with birth between April and June the following year. In the Southern Hemisphere, mating takes place in November, December, or early January. The tiger shark is the only species in its family that is ovoviviparous; its eggs hatch internally and the young are born live when fully developed.
The young develop inside the mother's body up to 16 months. Litters range from 10 to 80 pups. 51 to 76 cm (20 to 30 in) long. How long tiger sharks live is unknown, but they can live longer than 12 years.A newborn is generally
Tiger shark ontogeny has been little studied until recently, but studies by Hammerschlag et al., indicated that as they grow, their tails become more symmetrical with age. Additionally, while the heads on juvenile tiger sharks are more conical and similar to other requiem sharks, adult tiger sharks have a head which is relatively broader. The reason for the larger caudal fin on juvenile tiger sharks is theorized to be an adaptation to escape predation by larger predators and to catch quicker-moving prey. As tiger sharks mature, their head also becomes much wider and their tails no longer become as large in proportion to their body size as when they are juveniles because they do not face elevated levels of predation risk upon maturity. The results of this study were interpreted as reflecting two ecological transitions: as tiger sharks mature they become more migratory and having a symmetrical tail is more advantageous in long-distance traveling, and that tiger sharks consume more diverse prey items with age, which requires a greater bite force and broader head.
The tiger shark is captured and killed for its fins, flesh, and liver. It is caught regularly in target and nontarget fisheries. Several populations have declined where they have been heavily fished. Continued demand for fins may result in further declines in the future. They are considered a near threatened species due to excessive finning and fishing by humans according to International Union for Conservation of Nature.In June 2018 the New Zealand Department of Conservation classified the tiger shark as "Migrant" with the qualifier "Secure Overseas" under the New Zealand Threat Classification System.
While shark fin has very few nutrients, shark liver has a high concentration of vitamin A, which is used in the production of vitamin oils. In addition, the tiger shark is captured and killed for its distinct skin, as well as by big-game fishers.
In 2010, Greenpeace International added the tiger shark to its seafood red list, which is a list of fish commonly sold around the world, and which have a very high risk of being sourced from unsustainable fisheries.
Although sharks rarely bite humans, the tiger shark is reported to be responsible for a large share of fatal shark-bite incidents, and is regarded as one of the most dangerous shark species.They often visit shallow reefs, harbors, and canals, creating the potential for encounter with humans. The tiger shark also dwells in river mouths and other runoff-rich water. While the tiger shark is considered to be one of the sharks most dangerous to humans, its bite rate is low. It ranks second on the list of number of recorded bites on humans, behind only the great white shark. Typically, three to four shark bites occur per year in Hawaii, but they are rarely fatal; one notable survivor of such an attack is surfing champion Bethany Hamilton, who lost her left arm at age 13 to a tiger shark in 2003. This bite rate is very low, considering that thousands of people swim, surf, and dive in Hawaiian waters every day. Human interactions with tiger sharks in Hawaiian waters have been shown to increase between September and November, when tiger shark females are believed to migrate to the islands to give birth.
Between 1959 and 2000, 4,668 tiger sharks were culled in an effort to protect the tourism industry. Despite damaging the shark population, these efforts were shown to be ineffective in decreasing the number of interactions between humans and tiger sharks. Feeding sharks in Hawaii (except for traditional Hawaiian cultural or religious practices) is illegal,and interaction with them, such as cage diving, is discouraged. South African shark behaviorist and shark diver Mark Addison demonstrated divers could interact and dive with them outside of a shark cage in a 2007 Discovery Channel special, and underwater photographer Fiona Ayerst swam with them in the Bahamas. At "Tiger Beach" off Grand Bahama, uncaged diving with - and even the handling of - female tiger sharks has become a routine occurrence.
The tiger shark is considered to be sacred na ʻaumakua (ancestor spirits) by some native Hawaiians, who think their eyeballs have special powers of visual perception.
Sharks are a group of elasmobranch fish characterized by a cartilaginous skeleton, five to seven gill slits on the sides of the head, and pectoral fins that are not fused to the head. Modern sharks are classified within the clade Selachimorpha and are the sister group to the rays. However, the term "shark" has also been used for extinct members of the subclass Elasmobranchii outside the Selachimorpha, such as Cladoselache and Xenacanthus, as well as other Chondrichthyes such as the holocephalid eugenedontidans.
The great white shark, also known as the great white, white shark or "white pointer", is a species of large mackerel shark which can be found in the coastal surface waters of all the major oceans. It is notable for its size, with larger female individuals growing to 6.1 m (20 ft) in length and 1,905–2,268 kg (4,200–5,000 lb) in weight at maturity. However, most are smaller; males measure 3.4 to 4.0 m, and females measure 4.6 to 4.9 m on average. According to a 2014 study, the lifespan of great white sharks is estimated to be as long as 70 years or more, well above previous estimates, making it one of the longest lived cartilaginous fishes currently known. According to the same study, male great white sharks take 26 years to reach sexual maturity, while the females take 33 years to be ready to produce offspring. Great white sharks can swim at speeds of 25 km/hr (16 mph) for short bursts and to depths of 1,200 m (3,900 ft).
The blue shark is a species of requiem shark, in the family Carcharhinidae, that inhabits deep waters in the world's temperate and tropical oceans. Averaging around 3.1 m (10 ft) and preferring cooler waters, the blue shark migrates long distances, such as from New England to South America. It is listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN.
The Pacific sleeper shark is a sleeper shark of the family Somniosidae, found in the North Pacific on continental shelves and slopes in Arctic and temperate waters between latitudes 70°N and 22°N, from the surface to 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) deep. Records from southern oceans are likely misidentifications of relatives. Its length is up to 4.4 m (14 ft), although it could possibly reach lengths in excess of 7 m (23 ft).
The dwarf sperm whale is a sperm whale that inhabits temperate and tropical oceans worldwide, in particular continental shelves and slopes. It was first described by biologist Richard Owen in 1866, based on illustrations by naturalist Sir Walter Elliot. The species was considered to be synonymous with the pygmy sperm whale from 1878 until 1998. The dwarf sperm whale is a small whale, 2 to 2.7 m and 136 to 272 kg, that has a gray coloration, square head, small jaw, and robust body. Its appearance is very similar to the pygmy sperm whale, distinguished mainly by the position of the dorsal fin on the body–nearer the middle in the dwarf sperm whale and nearer the back in the other.
Megalodon, meaning "big tooth", is an extinct species of shark that lived approximately 23 to 3.6 million years ago (mya), during the Early Miocene to the Pliocene. It was formerly thought to be a member of the family Lamnidae and a close relative of the great white shark. However, it is now classified into the extinct family Otodontidae, which diverged from the great white shark during the Early Cretaceous. Its genus placement is still debated, authors placing it in either Carcharocles, Megaselachus, Otodus, or Procarcharodon. This is because transitional fossils have been found showing that Megalodon is the final chronospecies of a lineage of giant sharks originally of the genus Otodus which evolved during the Paleocene.
The cookiecutter shark, also called the cigar shark, is a species of small squaliform shark in the family Dalatiidae. This shark occurs in warm, oceanic waters worldwide, particularly near islands, and has been recorded as deep as 3.7 km (2.3 mi). It migrates vertically up to 3 km (1.9 mi) every day, approaching the surface at dusk and descending with the dawn. Reaching only 42–56 cm (16.5–22 in) in length, the cookiecutter shark has a long, cylindrical body with a short, blunt snout, large eyes, two tiny spineless dorsal fins, and a large caudal fin. It is dark brown, with light-emitting photophores covering its underside except for a dark "collar" around its throat and gill slits.
The sand tiger shark, grey nurse shark, spotted ragged-tooth shark or blue-nurse sand tiger, is a species of shark that inhabits subtropical and temperate waters worldwide. It inhabits the continental shelf, from sandy shorelines and submerged reefs to a depth of around 191 m (627 ft). They dwell in the waters of Japan, Australia, South Africa, the Mediterranean and the east coasts of North and South America. Despite its name, it is not related to the tiger shark Galeocerdo cuvier.
The great hammerhead is the largest species of hammerhead shark, belonging to the family Sphyrnidae, attaining an average length of 4.6 m (15 ft) and reaching a maximum length of 6.1 m (20 ft). It is found in tropical and warm temperate waters worldwide, inhabiting coastal areas and the continental shelf. The great hammerhead can be distinguished from other hammerheads by the shape of its "hammer", which is wide with an almost straight front margin, and by its tall, sickle-shaped first dorsal fin. A solitary, strong-swimming apex predator, the great hammerhead feeds on a wide variety of prey ranging from crustaceans and cephalopods, to bony fish, to smaller sharks. Observations of this species in the wild suggest that the cephalofoil functions to immobilize stingrays, a favored prey. This species has a viviparous mode of reproduction, bearing litters of up to 55 pups every two years.
The Dusky shark is a species of requiem shark, in the family Carcharhinidae, occurring in tropical and warm-temperate continental seas worldwide. A generalist apex predator, the dusky shark can be found from the coast to the outer continental shelf and adjacent pelagic waters, and has been recorded from a depth of 400 m (1,300 ft). Populations migrate seasonally towards the poles in the summer and towards the equator in the winter, traveling hundreds to thousands of kilometers. One of the largest members of its genus, the dusky shark reaches 4.2 m (14 ft) in length and 347 kg (765 lb) in weight. It has a slender, streamlined body and can be identified by its short round snout, long sickle-shaped pectoral fins, ridge between the first and second dorsal fins, and faintly marked fins.
The kitefin shark or seal shark is a species of squaliform shark in the family Dalatiidae, and the only species in its genus. It is found sporadically around the world, usually close to the sea floor at depths of 200–600 m (660–1,970 ft). With a sizable oil-filled liver to maintain neutral buoyancy, this shark is able to cruise slowly through the water while expending little energy. The kitefin shark has a slender body with a very short, blunt snout, large eyes, and thick lips. Its teeth are highly differentiated between the upper and lower jaws, with the upper teeth small and narrow and the lower teeth large, triangular, and serrated. Its typical length is 1.0–1.4 m (3.3–4.6 ft).
The smalltooth sand tiger or bumpytail ragged-tooth is a species of mackerel shark in the family Odontaspididae, with a patchy but worldwide distribution in tropical and warm temperate waters. They usually inhabit deepwater rocky habitats, though they are occasionally encountered in shallow water, and have been known to return to the same location year after year. This rare species is often mistaken for the much more common grey nurse shark, from which it can be distinguished by its first dorsal fin, which is larger than the second and placed further forward. It grows to at least 4.1 m (13.5 ft) in length.
The bigeye sand tiger is an extremely rare species of mackerel shark in the family Odontaspididae, with a possible worldwide distribution. A large, bulky species reaching at least 3.6 m (12 ft) in length, the bigeye sand tiger has a long bulbous snout, large orange eyes without nictitating membranes, and a capacious mouth with the narrow teeth prominently exposed. It can be distinguished from the similar smalltooth sand tiger by its teeth, which have only one lateral cusplet on each side, and by its uniformly dark brown color.
The sicklefin lemon shark or sharptooth lemon shark, is a species of requiem shark belonging to the family Carcharhinidae, widely distributed in the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific. It is closely related to the better-known lemon shark of the Americas; the two species are almost identical in appearance, both being stout-bodied sharks with broad heads, two dorsal fins of nearly equal size, and a plain yellow-tinged coloration. As its common name suggests, the sicklefin lemon shark differs from its American counterpart in having more falcate (sickle-shaped) fins. This large species grows up to 3.8 m (12 ft) long. It generally inhabits water less than 92 m (302 ft) deep in a variety of habitats, from mangrove estuaries to coral reefs.
Shark anatomy differs from that of bony fish in a variety of ways. Variation observed within shark anatomy is a potential result of speciation and habitat variation
The largetooth cookiecutter shark is a rare species of squaliform shark in the family Dalatiidae, reported from depths of 60–200 m (200–660 ft) at scattered locations in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. As its common name suggests, it is similar in appearance to the cookiecutter shark but has much larger lower teeth. This species reaches a maximum known length of 42 cm (17 in). The largetooth cookiecutter shark feeds by gouging out chunks of flesh from larger animals, including bony fishes, sharks, and marine mammals, and is able to take larger bites than I. brasiliensis. Little is known of its life history; it is thought to be a weaker swimmer than I. brasiliensis, and is presumably aplacental viviparous like the rest of its family. This shark is an infrequent bycatch of commercial trawl and longline fisheries, but is not thought to be much threatened by these activities.
Rhina ancylostoma, the bowmouth guitarfish, shark ray or mud skate, is a species of ray and a member of the family Rhinidae. Its evolutionary affinities are not fully resolved, though it may be related to true guitarfishes and skates. This rare species occurs widely in the tropical coastal waters of the western Indo-Pacific, at depths of up to 90 m (300 ft). Highly distinctive in appearance, Rhina ancylostoma has a wide and thick body with a rounded snout and large shark-like dorsal and tail fins. Its mouth forms a W-shaped undulating line, and there are multiple thorny ridges over its head and back. It has a dorsal color pattern of many white spots over a bluish gray to brown background, with a pair of prominent black markings over the pectoral fins. This large species can reach a length of 2.7 m (8.9 ft) and weight of 135 kg (298 lb).
Livyatan is an extinct genus of sperm whale containing one species: L. melvillei. The genus name was inspired by the biblical sea monster Leviathan, and the species name by Herman Melville, the author of the famous book Moby-Dick about a white bull sperm whale. It is mainly known from the Pisco Formation of Peru during the Tortonian stage of the Miocene epoch, about 9.9–8.9 million years ago (mya); however, isolated teeth from other locations such as Chile, Argentina, South Africa, and Australia implies that either it or a close relative survived into the Pliocene, around 5 mya, and was present throughout the Southern Hemisphere. It was a member of a group of hyper-predatory macroraptorial sperm whales and was likely an apex predator, preying on whales, seals, and so forth. Characteristic of raptorial sperm whales, Livyatan had functional, enamel-coated teeth on the upper and lower jaws, as well as several adaptations for hunting large prey.
Intraguild predation, or IGP, is the killing and sometimes eating of a potential competitor of a different species. This interaction represents a combination of predation and competition, because both species rely on the same prey resources and also benefit from preying upon one another. Intraguild predation is common in nature and can be asymmetrical, in which one species feeds upon the other, or symmetrical, in which both species prey upon each other. Because the dominant intraguild predator gains the dual benefits of feeding and eliminating a potential competitor, IGP interactions can have considerable effects on the structure of ecological communities.
The giant oceanic manta ray is a species of ray in the family Mobulidae, and the largest type of ray in the world. They are circumglobal and are typically found in tropical and subtropical waters, but can also be found in temperate waters. Until 2017, giant mantas were classified in the genus Manta, along with the smaller reef manta. DNA testing revealed that both species are more closely related to rays of the genus Mobula than previously thought. As a result, giant mantas were renamed Mobula birostris to reflect the new classification.
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