Photo Credits: Mason Cummings; Courtesy of Aquarium of the Bay

The bat ray (Myliobatis californica) is a common seasonal inhabitant of shallow inshore waters from Oregon to the Gulf of California, and is locally abundant in nutrient rich bays such as Tomales Bay in Point Reyes National Seashore. Bat rays have very sharp and durable teeth that are capable of crushing even the toughest clam and crab shells. The species was long thought to prey upon cultivated oysters, and were routinely killed within oyster nursery grounds. The attempt at eradication proved to be a mislead effort, however, as the bat rays were actually preying upon crabs that feed on oyster beds.