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Manta Brains

During her Ph.D. studies, manta ray researcher Csilla Ari discovered that manta rays have the largest brain of all fish species studied so far and the largest brains compared to their body weight among batoids (skates and rays).  In addition, some of the brain parts suggest well-developed sensory-cognitive abilities and social behavior.

Chondrichtyans (cartilaginous fishes) have been found to possess large brains when compared to other vertebrates, while mantas have some of the largest brains of the cartilaginous fish! Enlarged brains are associated with complex behaviors and "social intelligence", habitat, and lifestyle. The morphology of the manta brain most closely resembles that of the hammerhead shark. Like hammerheads, mantas live in 3-deminsional environments, have active lifestyles, are highly maneuverable, and have developed social and migratory behavior. These characteristics may partially explain the large cerebellum and telencephalon parts of the brain found in mantas.


FUN FACT! Mobula birostris possessed the highest brain weight among all fish.

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