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Baby rays go on display at Blue Reef Aquarium
Baby thornback ray
Baby thornback ray goes on display at the Newquay's Blue Reef Aquarium

Six baby rays have gone on display at Newquay's Blue Reef Aquarium.

The tiny rays each measure just 10cm across.

The have been hand reared by Newquay's sister aquarium in Sussex after being donated by a local fisherman and have since been brought to the Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay.

There are two thornback rays, two blonde rays and a pair of painted rays - all of which are native to British waters.

Blue Reef's curator, Matt Slater, said: "The babies are in great condition and perfect miniature replicas of the adults.

From our point of view it's great to be able to show visitors the variety and beauty of our native fish species - the painted rays in particular have these amazing patterns and colourings that develop as they mature
Blue Reef's curator, Matt Slater

"They came here as part of a 'swapping' programme where we gave them a pair of our own captive-bred southern stingrays.

"From our point of view it's great to be able to show visitors the variety and beauty of our native fish species - the painted rays in particular have these amazing patterns and colourings that develop as they mature," he added.

Thornbacks are the most common ray in British waters and can grow up to 1.2 metres in length. The species gets its name from the coarse prickles which cover their upper body.

Blonde rays are so called because of their light body colour although they can in fact be quite dark, depending on the colour of the surrounding sea bed.

Also known as the undulate ray, the painted ray is one of the most distinctive rays to be found in UK water.

This species is patterned with long, wavy, dark lines edged with white spots that run parallel to the wing margins.

Rays belong to the same family as sharks and are effectively 'flattened-out' versions of their close cousins.

UK waters are home to at least 15 different species including the electric ray and the common skate, which can reach lengths of up to three metres.




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