Rare cuckoo ray found at Flamborough

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Staff at Flamborough’s Living Seas Centre got a surprise when they stumbled across a cuckoo ray during a public walk.

The small ray, with its distinctive eye spots on each wing, washed up on the tide line at South Landing, Flamborough.

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Officers were reminded of some of the stunning North Sea wildlife – and were able to explain all about the species to members of the public who had joined them on their Winter Seashore Walk.

Anthony Hurd, manager at the Living Seas Centre, based at South Landing, said: “We do not often find such pristine fish washed up so it was a great opportunity to show people the finer details of these majestic creatures.

“The spines running along its back, the eyes on the top of the head and the mouth hiding below along with the gill slits that characterise it as an elasmobranch – the group that encompasses all sharks, rays and skates.”

Anthony contacted the Shark Trust to log the find and also to gather a little more information about this particular species.

Cuckoo ray have a wide ranging distribution around the UK and can grow up to 75cm long.

They mature at around 60cm so judging by the size of the individual the Trust found at 40cm long they deduced it was a juvenile.

Interestingly they can be found in coastal waters but also to depths of 950 feet – at such a depth the pressure is 30 times that of here on the surface.

The trust are running a number of half term events and is open daily now until Sunday 2 March from 10am until 4pm. The centre, which opened at the site of the former Boathouse Cafe last year after a £150,000 development, is a hub of marine education and is the first of its kind on the Yorkshire Coast.