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WHAT IS ELASMODIVER?

Not just Shark Pictures: Elasmodiver contains photos of sharks, skates, rays, and chimaera's from around the world. Elasmodiver began as a simple web based shark field guide to help divers find the best places to encounter the different species of sharks and rays that live in shallow water but it has slowly evolved into a much larger project containing information on all aspects of shark diving and shark photography.

There are now more than 10,000 shark pictures  and sections on shark evolution, biology, and conservation. There is a large library of reviewed shark books, a constantly updated shark taxonomy page, a monster list of shark links, and deeper in the site there are numerous articles and stories about shark encounters. Elasmodiver is now so difficult to check for updates, that new information and pictures are listed on an Elasmodiver Updates Page that can be accessed here:

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Shark picture - green sawfish

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SPOTTED EAGLE RAY

View all available spotted eagleray images in the Shark Pictures Database

Common Names: Spotted eagle ray, White-spotted eagle ray

Latin Name: Aetobatus narinari

Family: Myliobatidae

Identification: Very wide rhomboid disc. Prominent brow with flattened, pointed snout. Very long, whip like tail (often broken off part way). Dorsum black, bluish, or gray, covered with small white spots. In some individuals the white spots can be slightly larger with black centers. The species is apparently under review and may be divided in the future. Ventrum pale.

Size: Wing span to 200cm. Max 250cm. Nose to tail (when complete) max 500cm.

Habitat: Cruises reef faces and sand flats (where it feeds). Also open ocean. Intertidal to 24m.

Abundance: Commonly seen in Florida and Caribbean.

Distribution: On the Atlantic coast from Virginia to Brazil. Circumtropical.

Behavior: Known to school in some areas. It feeds by scooping its flattened snout through the sand. Preys mainly on mollusks.

Reproduction: Ovoviviparous.

Observations:

Photographs: Dominica, Carriacou.

Similar species:

Reaction to divers: Generally shy and hard to approach. The best way I have found to get close to these rays is to sneak up on them from behind when feeding.

Diving logistics: South Caicos Island (part of the Turks and Caicos chain) reportedly has schooling eagle rays on a regular basis. South Caicos is a remote location and best reached by liveaboard, but for land based access try Grand Turk rather than Providenciales. Eagle rays are occasional visitors to many areas that divers frequent in the Caribbean. I have not been lucky enough to find the ‘mother load’ yet, but the walls of Grand Cayman are fairly well stocked.

Other diving locations submitted by readers:

Further reading:

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