First ever satellite-tagged Atlantic torpedo ray

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Over the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, OTN executive director, Fred Whoriskey, and Dalhousie University’s director of animal care, Chris Harvey-Clark, ventured into the waters off Ketch Harbour, Nova Scotia, in search of the elusive Atlantic torpedo ray.

Torpedo rays (Torpedo nobiliana), the largest and most powerful of the electric rays, can deliver a 200 volt shock to stun prey and in defence of predators.

Equipped with an underwater camera and a pop-up satellite tag, Fred and Chris discovered the ray site, crossing paths with five torpedo rays including one mid-sized, female that now carries the externally attached archival tag.

The ray, called Greg in honour of local biologist diver Greg Croft, will carry the tag for three months to document fine-scale and long-range movements. The tag is programmed to detach from Greg and pop up to the surface where it will interface with Argos satellites and transmit its archival data–temperature, depth, and location–to researchers at OTN headquarters in Halifax.

Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet covered the story, which aired October 15. A link to the segment will be available shortly.

Video and photos courtesy of Chris Harvey-Clark

 

Read more:  Torpedo ray tagged by Dalhousie University researchers (CBC Nova Scotia)

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