This incredible footage of mating marble rays was captured by our Cruise Director Federico Pochet during the MV Sea Hunter Trip to Cocos Island from July 25 - August 4, 2012.
After getting their shark fix at legendary Alcyone, Fed led the group to a safety stop and witnessed marble rays gracefully performing their mating ritual. The cameras were rolling, and as you can see, it is nothing short of magic.
This is the first time we have seen the actual mating take place. During the mating season we typically see the marble rays gearing up to mate by displaying courting behavior. They gather in large numbers and follow the female around as if they are performing a rehearsed musical number. To see the actual act itself is quite rare.
Howard Hall, the director of the Cocos Island IMAX® feature, "Island of the Sharks", commented that "There have been some reports from Cocos of rays mating belly to belly but no proof until now. Congratulations".
Undersea Hunter Group's Dive Officer and marine biologist Edwar Herreño, also confirmed this is the first time something like this has been seen at Cocos Island, let alone captured on video.