Aquarium adding cownose rays to tunnel display | Families
NEWPORT, KY (FOX19) - A new animal is “nosing” around Newport Aquarium beginning this week.
Newport Aquarium announced on Friday the addition of 20 cownose rays to its Coral Reef tunnel display.
This is a species never-before-seen at Newport Aquarium. With their size – about 2 feet in wingspan for each ray – and the number of animals in the group, the cownose rays will dramatically change the look of the gallery.
“Cownose rays are amazingly graceful as they swim through the water but they also have a cute and slightly comedic appearance that I think our guests will find endearing,” said Mark Dvornak, curator of fish and invertebrates for Newport Aquarium.
Dvornak estimates the ages of the Aquarium’s cownose rays to be between one and two years old. They were collected by Newport Aquarium’s sister aquarium, Adventure Aquarium, in waters close to a nearby power plant. Plant officials contacted the Aquarium to warn that during plant shut-down, the waters the rays were living in would quickly cool down and cause a risk to the animals.
Newport Aquarium’s volunteer divers worked closely with the cownose rays while the rays were in an off-site holding facility to get them to feed from divers’ hands. At the Aquarium, the rays will be fed daily, either by volunteer divers or by our biologists. Their diet will be shrimp, squid, and fish.
Dvornak said he expects the cownose rays to be on display in the Coral Reef tunnel for the foreseeable future.