What’s going on with the rays at Jennette’s Pier?

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Nags Head, N.C. (WTKR) - The folks at Jennette's Pier call it a "Ray Ballet."

During the Fritz Boyden Annual Youth Tournament Wednesday, the Pier's Assistant Manager Daryl Law captured video of Cownose Rays swimming in circles near the pier.

Watching the video, you'd think the rays were auditioning for synchronized swimming in the Olympics!

So what are the rays really doing?

Terri Kirby Hathaway is a Marine Education Specialist with the North Carolina Sea Grant Extension Program.

She says she's never seen the circle swimming mentioned in research, but says one possibility is that the Cownose Rays were part in a mating ritual.

"If they are in a group like that it's usually one female and a lot of different males competing for her. They're trying to grab her wings, her pectoral find and mate with her," Hathaway told NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo.

If nothing else, the video is a good reminder that if you look closely, you can witness some pretty extraordinary things in the spaces where the sea and the land come together.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.