Common Name: Cownose ray
Latin Name: Rhinoptera bonasus
Size/weight: Up to 45 inches wide (wing tip to wing tip) and 50 pounds.
Range: Massachusetts to Brazil
Habitat: Sandy, soft bottom areas.
Diet: Clams, oysters and bottom-dwelling invertebrates.
Predators: Sharks are the cownose ray’s main predators. Humans; disc-shaped cutouts of ray wings are sometimes passed off as scallop. Cownose rays are also sometimes cut up as bait for other fish.
Description: Grey on top and white on bottom, cownose rays have broad wings, a long thin tail, and a notched head that some say resembles a cow’s muzzle (hence the name “cownose” ray). Sharp, venomous spine (stinger) at the base of the tail. A relative of sharks and skates, the cownose ray’s skeleton is made up of cartilage, not bones.
Conservation Note: Not listed as endangered or vulnerable.