Get Up Close and Personal
Stingray Bay is the Key West Aquarium’s newest hands-on exhibit where visitors can pet and feed cow nose rays (Rhinoptera bonasus). Native to the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, cow nose rays are members of the eagle ray family (Myliobatidae) that includes the largest of the rays, the manta. Cow nose rays are very friendly and docile and love to be fed!
Stingray Bay Features
Stingray Bay is home to eight cow nose rays. Cow nose rays grow rapidly, and male rays often reach about 35 inches in width and weigh around 26 pounds. Females are slightly smaller reaching a size of 28 inches in width and weigh 36 pounds. The cow nose ray is typically brown-backed with a whitish or yellowish belly and has a very recognizable shape. It has a broad head with wide-set eyes and a pair of distinctive lobes on its subrostral fin. It also has a set of dental plates designed for crushing clams and oyster shells. Most all rays, except for manta and porcupine rays, have venomous spines at the end of their tails that are used exclusively for self defense. Our cow nose rays have been de-barbed. The barbs do grow back in about six months, and when they do, the rays will have their barbs removed. This procedure causes no harm to the ray.
Please Feed the Animals!
Feeding of the rays is encouraged. The rays love it and guests will enjoy the experience. Cow nose rays do not have teeth but crushing plates. Our guides will assist you in feeding the rays. Our guests are free to feed and photograph the rays in Stingray Bay during their visit to the Key West Aquarium and our guides are always available to assist and answer questions.
For more Information about our Stingray Bay
Please contact us for additional information regarding educational programs for the Key West Aquarium.