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
There are now
more than 5000 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:
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.
span to 200cm. Max 250cm. Nose to tail (when complete) max 500cm.
reef faces and sand flats (where it feeds). Also open ocean. Intertidal to 24m.
seen in Florida and Caribbean.
the Atlantic coast from Virginia to Brazil. Circumtropical.
to school in some areas. It feeds by scooping its flattened snout through the
sand. Preys mainly on mollusks.
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.