Cownose rays have a unique feature—long, pointed pectoral fins that separate into two lobes in front of their high-domed heads. A crease in the lobes and a notched head create a cow-nose likeness that gives these rays their name.
Cownose rays are known for their long migrations in large schools. They are strong swimmers, able to cover long distances.
Cownose rays have poisonous stingers, but even in large groups they’re shy and not threatening.
As this ray swims through the ocean, its wingtips often break the surface, resembling the dorsal fin of a shark, which sometimes causes undue alarm for swimmers and divers. Occasionally, they jump out of the water and land with a loud smack, a behavior thought to be a territorial display.