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Estuaries

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 305–310 | Cite as

Food habits and feeding behavior of the cownose ray,Rhinoptera bonasus, in lower Chesapeake Bay

  • Joseph W. Smith
  • John V. Merriner
Article

Abstract

The most important food item of the cownose ray,Rhinoptera bonasus, in the Virginian tributaries of lower Chesapeake Bay is the soft shell clam,Mya arenaria. The Baltic macoma,Macoma balthica, ranks a distant second. Adult rays feed on deep burrowing mollusks, juveniles on shallow- or non-burrowing bivalves. Foraging schools of rays invade tidal flats during the flood tide. Stirring motions of the pectoral fins combined with suction from the expansive orobranchial chamber are probably used to excavate deep burrowing bivalves.

Keywords

Bivalve Baltic Macoma Gill Slit Disc Width Nurse Shark 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Estuarine Research Federation 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph W. Smith
    • 1
  • John V. Merriner
    • 1
  1. 1.The College of William and Mary School of marine ScienceVirginia Institute of Marine Science andGloucester Point

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