"Estuaries such as Long Island Sound are among the most valuable ecosystems in the world. The Sound supports diverse marine life, including most of the fish and shellfish we value as food ..."

– Connecticut Sea Grant

Conservation & Research

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Long Island Sound Fun Fact

Long Island Sound is 113 miles long, 21 miles wide (at its widest) and holds about 18 trillion gallons of water. Its average depth is 63 feet – which is just a little deeper than the height of our IMAX screen! Can you fathom that?!

cownose ray

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.

See them in the Shark & Ray Touch Pool »