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Picture of the Day

For the first time, biologists track Cownose rays to Florida and back

Every summer, Cownose rays stream into Chesapeake Bay to mate and give birth to their pups. When autumn comes, they disappear—presumably to migrate south, but no one knew for certain where they spent the winter. Now, after a three-year tagging study published this month, scientists have solved the mystery. Cownose rays all along the Atlantic winter near Cape Canaveral, Florida, and it is likely they return to the same spots each summer. The new study, marks the first time scientists have tracked cownose ray migrations along the Atlantic coast for a full year or more. Knowing where they go every year will help fill in some longstanding knowledge gaps about the rays, as Maryland officials decide how to manage them.

Visit Website | Image credit: Jay Fleming/Smithsonian Environmental Research Center