(This post is part of our blog series that deals with Pearls International’s take on social and environmental responsibility. For more information on how Pearls International gives back, please click here.)
If you read our last blog, you know we have comprised a Most Wanted list for Oyster Offenders. We’re advocates of the life and safety of these little pearl-forming, ocean-cleaning parts of our aquatic ecosystems, and we are here to educate! Follow this series for neat facts about predators that live in our oceans, and more.
9) Cownose Rays
Similar to the oyster toadfish, the cownose ray has special teeth for crushing mollusks. While feeding, they crush segments of oyster beds three feet wide and up to a foot deep! They also stir up the sediment around the oyster beds while they swim, which can bury the oysters. As oyster beds provide homes to a whole host of aquatic organisms, these rays set off a chain reaction of damages. We’re all for the food chain, but we don’t want these around our special pearl oysters, so we give the Cownose Ray a Number Nine (#9) on the Ten Most Wanted List.
Stay tuned for more unbelievable oyster threats, leading up to the Number One (#1) enemy of our beloved oysters. You won’t believe what some oysters go through to deliver their beautiful pearls!