Fun Cownose Rays Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Cownose Rays Facts For Kids

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The Cownose Ray (Rhinoptera bonasus) is a species of large marine fishes named because of the shape of their head and nose, which resembles a cow nose. These fishes migrate in large groups and are often found in the Atlantic Ocean. They are the prey for many marine creatures like a shark and whale.

These species belong to the family of Rhinopteridae and are dangerous to humans. They have stings and venomous skins, which can cause a stroke that can lead to a person's death.

When observing the Cownose Ray migration activity, Cownose Rays are spotted along the Chesapeake Bay during summers, where they gather to mate. However, it is a mystery as to where these migratory species vanish off during winters.

Here on our page, we have lots of interesting facts on Cownose Ray that everyone will enjoy. Let's have a look at these interesting facts and if you do like these, read our stingray and shark facts.

Fun Cownose Rays Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Soft shellfish, hard shellfish, clams, razor clams, Macoma clams

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

50 lb (23 kg)

How long are they?

45 in (1.1 m)

How tall are they?

61 cm (2 ft)

What do they look like?

Brown to olive green and white

Skin Type

Smooth and slippery skin

What were their main threats?

Humans, Bull Shark, Sandbar Shark, Cobia

What is their conservation status?


Where you'll find them?

Estuaries, Shallow Bays, Inshore










Cownose Ray Interesting Facts

What type of animal are Cownose Rays?

Cownose Ray (Rhinoptera bonasus) is a species of eagle rays that are cartilaginous fishes. These fishes live deep in the water but are found swimming near the surface.

What class of animal do Cownose Rays belong to?

These fishes belong to the class of Chondrichthyes and the family of Rhinopteridae.

How many Cownose Rays are there in the world?

The exact population of the Cownose Ray is scientifically unknown. Still, these species of fishes are listed as vulnerable as they are preyed upon and are unlikely to be on the upper level of the food chain. One of the reasons for their vulnerable state is that they are slow in reproducing, and their breeding or mating age is five to seven years after their birth.

Where do Cownose Rays live?

Cownose Ray is the fishes that are mainly found in Shallow bays, inshore, and estuaries. These fishes are located in the deep ocean and sometimes come up to the surface. These species are found in regions like the western and eastern Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, the United States, and the Chesapeake Bay.

What is a Cownose Ray's habitat?

Cownose Rays are found to be swimming near the surface of the water. They prefer to live in the marine and brackish waters at a depth of 72 feet or more. These species naturally appear in the western and eastern Atlantic oceans, mainly in the Chesapeake Bay. They are also found in the United States and the Gulf of Mexico.

Who do Cownose Rays live with?

The Cownose Ray are social creatures found in groups, and they often travel in groups called schools. These animals are known for their migratory manners, where they migrate and swim in the same direction in a coordinated manner.

How long do Cownose Rays live?

Average Cownose Rays may live up to 18 years for females and 16 years for males. These creatures are slow in reproducing as their maturity age is five to seven years after their birth.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season of the Cownose Rays is from June to October. In this period of time, the group of Cownose Rays gathers together where females swim with their pectoral fins in display and are sticking out of the water, while the males try to grasp the fins of the females for the mating process.

What is their conservation status?

The Cownose Rays are given the 'Vulnerable' status, which is just above the 'Near Threatened' status as per the list of The International Union For Conservation Of Nature. Their population has declined to 45% in the last 43 years and has been decreasing further. They are declining in population because of excessive fishing in the areas where they live.

Cownose Ray Fun Facts

What do Cownose Rays look like?

The Cownose Ray is a large fish with a kite-like shaped body. It can weigh up to 50 pounds and has a wingspan of up to three feet. Its tail looks like a whip, and they come in a variety of colors.

Cownose Ray

How cute are they?

Whether they are cute or not is subjective, but these creatures have venomous skins, and their serrated spine can cause critical damage to humans.

How do they communicate?

The Cownose Rays produce a grunting sound like other fishes. They also make clapping sounds with their flaps to communicate with each other. During feeding sessions, these creatures also make thumping sounds for their young ones.

How big are Cownose Rays?

The Cownose Rays are large marine fishes with 45 inches in length and width and 2 feet in height. These fishes are two times larger than the toadfishes and some crustaceans.

How fast can Cownose Rays swim?

These species rely on their fins to traverse through the ocean. Since they are migratory in nature, they travel distances every year. They are not known to travel at high speeds. They have been observed not to swim more than four to five knots.

How much do Cownose Rays weigh?

The average weight of a Cownose Ray is 50 lb (23 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no different names for the male and female species of the Cownose Ray.

What would you call a baby Cownose Ray?

A baby Cownose Ray may be referred to as a pup.

What do they eat?

When it comes to the feeding behavior of these Rays, they primarily feed in the early morning or late afternoon hours. Their diet consists of prey like soft shellfish and clams like Razor clams and Macoma clams.

Are they dangerous?

Yes, Cownose Rays are dangerous to humans as they have venomous skin and stings. Make sure to stay away!

Would they make a good pet?

No, they cannot make a good pet as they have venomous skin and stings. It is also illegal to own a Cownose Rays in California.

Did you know...

Cownose Rays do not rest, unlike the other stingers.

Being in a playful mood, they usually jump out of the water on their bellies and produce smacking sounds.

They often become the prey in their own habitat as several predators feed on these rays.

They are often caught along with other fishes during fishing. Sometimes people even eat them, but they are not your typical delicacy. They are complicated when it comes to cooking, and only a small portion of the entire Cownose Ray is edible.

Do Cownose Rays have stingers?

Cownose Rays have stingers. Cownose Rays may kill a person if stung. Their stings are very dangerous and venomous.

Do Cownose Rays have teeth?

These creatures do have teeth. The Cownose Ray teeth are so powerful that they break the soft shellfish and hard shellfish very easily.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish, including nurse shark or chum salmon.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Cownose Ray coloring pages.

Written By
Divya Raghav

Divya Raghav dons many hats, that of a writer, a community manager, and a strategist. She was born and raised in Bangalore. After completing her Bachelor’s in Commerce from Christ University, she is pursuing her MBA at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore. With diverse experience in finance, administration, and operations, Divya is a diligent worker known for her attention to detail. She loves to bake, dance, and write content and is an avid animal lover.

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