The surprisingly social life of manta rays
By Brandon Keim/Anthropocene
Photo by Elias Levy/flickr
The more scientists learn about the social lives of animals, the easier it is for people to relate to them. A species might be particularly beautiful, or have an unusual life history or extraordinary physiology—but it’s the bonds between individuals, the relationships and community, that most warm our hearts.
Those social insights have tended to involve charismatic creatures: orca and elephant families guided by their matriarchs, young crows staying home to help their parents raise newly-hatched siblings, loyal wolf packs. As for fish, however, they’re not usually considered social in meaningful ways. They might swim in schools, but that doesn’t necessarily imply a deep individual connection
Might manta rays help flip this script?